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    European corn borer

    Damage caused by the European corn borer

    European corn borers are considered as one of the most damaging pests of many vegetable crops including corn. Only larval stages of European corn borer cause serious damage to many crop species by tunneling through their leaf midribs and stalks. Second generation larvae are considered as the most damaging to late- planted corn because they tunnel into ears and stalks.

    Facts (show all)

    +Common names
    • The European corn borer
    +Scientific name
    • Ostrinia nubilalis

    Adults: Adult moths of european corn borer are yellowish in color with a typical brownish zigzag pattern on the forewings.

    Eggs: Eggs are round in shape, white in color and glued together in a cluster on the lower surface of the leaves.

    Larvae/Caterpillars: Mature larva is dirty white looking with pinkish tinge and several black spot scattered all over the body. Head capsule is brownish black in color.

    Pupae: Pupae of european corn borer are brown in color.


    The European corn borers overwinter as mature larvae in tunnels made by them in corn stalks or stems of other host plants. As soon as temperature starts warming up, overwintering larvae pupate early in the spring and adults moths then emerge from these pupae in the late spring. Female moths then lay eggs on the lower surface of corn leaves in a cluster. Eggs hatch within a week into first generation small larvae that start feeding on the leaves and ear. When these larvae reach to the third or fourth stages, they start boring into stalks and midribs of leaves where they develop, mature and pupate. Then adults emerge from these pupae, and lay eggs on the lower surface of leaves. These eggs hatch into second stage generation larvae that develop through 5 developmental stages. Then these second generation mature larvae will overwinter and then life cycle will continue.

    + Organic Control of the European corn borer
    • Following beneficial bugs and plant products are used for organic control of the European corn borer
    +Egg parasitic wasps
    • Trichogramma brassicae
    • Trichogramma pretiosum
    • Trichogramma minutum
    • Trichogramma platneri
    +Predatory praying mantis
    • Tenodera aridifolia sinensis
    • Stagmomantis crolina
    +Plant Product
    • Molt-X® - (Active ingredient – Azadirachtin a compound isolated from neem leaves)

    Click each of the following beneficial bugs or plant product for more information on their rates and methods of applications for the effective control of the European corn borer