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1999 Integrated Pest Management Annual Report

Western Corn Rootworm

A change in the egg-laying behavior of the Western corn rootworm has resulted in severe damage in first-year corn rotated with soybeans in east-central Illinois.

After three years of research, a preliminary economic threshold and scouting procedures have been developed and were described in an insect information fact sheet published by University of Illinois Extension. About 5,000 copies were disseminated through mailings and at educational meetings. In addition, the fact sheet was available on the worldwide web and distributed with the Pest Management & Crop Development Bulletin.

Producers who were interested in reporting their scouting observations to University of Illinois Extension cooperators also used the worldwide web to access a scouting report form.

By taking advantage of this new information and implementing the pest management recommendations, producers in east-central Illinois can significantly reduce their use of soil insecticides applied at planting. The economic and environmental benefits are potentially significant.

Male and female rootworm
Western corn rootworm male and female

Rootworm larvae feed on roots
Western corn rootworm larvae feed on corn roots.

Larval injury to roots
Roots are rated according to the amount of larval injury.

Producers from 26 counties used the scouting procedure the first year of implementation. Over 200 producers forwarded scouting data to University of Illinois Extension specialists for summarizing and distributing statewide.

Cooperators will dig roots from over 75 fields scouted last summer and participate in the 1999 Root Rating Program. Producers will dig roots from check strips (control) in treated fields or from untreated fields, and Extension educators will collect and transport roots to campus, where Extension specialists will wash and rate the roots.

Information obtained from this cooperative effort may allow further refinement of the economic threshold. In 1999, an additional 3,000 Pherocon AM sticky traps have been distributed to producers interested in scouting their soybean fields.

(More information about Corn Rootworms can be found on the Corn Rootwom page of the IPM website.)

Scouting Report Form Site:

Western Corn Rootworm Insect Information page:

Pherocon AM Trap
Pherocon AM trap.


Mike Gray,, Crop Sciences

Susan Ratcliffe,, Crop Sciences

Kevin Steffey,, Crop Sciences

Eli Levine,, INHS

Joe Spencer,, INHS

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  • Impact Assessment
  • Western Corn Rootworm
  • Waterhemp Management Program
  • Snapbeans, Weeds and IPM
  • Improving Urban Pest Management
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