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Integrated Pest Management Program

Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Department of Extension

Fact Sheets > Vegetables > Crop Specific Articles > Corn

Identification of Sweet Corn Pests

Pest Name



European Corn Borer

Females have yellowish wings with gray brown markings. Males are darker and slightly smaller. Wingspan is about 1 inch. At rest, the wings form a triangular outline. These moths are occasionally seen fluttering above young corn plants during the day.

Head capsule - dark brown

Body - light colored, often tinted pink, tan or gray, with a pattern of small dark spots on each segment. Full-grown larvae are 3/4 to 1 inch in length.

Corn Earworm

Front wings vary from yellowish tan to olive green to reddish brown and usually have a half-rounded dark spot near the center. The hind wing is whitish with a dark border. The border usually has a white median patch. Wingspan is about 11/2 inches. These moths fly only at night.

Head capsule - light yellowish-brown

Body - may be green, yellow, tan, brown or pink with light and dark longitudinal stripes. Small bumps and hairs covering the surface may give the body a rough texture. Full-grown larvae are 11/2 to 2 inches in length.

Fall Armyworm

The front wing is gray to brown with a partial, diagonal wing bar near the center. There is a white spot at the wing-tip. This pattern is obscured with gray shading in females. The hind wing is white with a violet tinge. Wingspan is 1 to 11/2 inches. These moths fly only at night.

Head capsule - dark with a prominent, light-colored area shaped as an inverted "Y."

Body - tan, green or almost black and smoother than corn earworm. Light and dark stripes run the length of the body. Four small black spots are visible on most segments. On the last posterior segment, the 4 spots form a conspicuous square pattern. Full-grown larvae are about 11/2 inches in length.

Based on information from University of New Hampshire Extension System

Reviewed by: T. Jude Boucher, IPM, University of Connecticut. 2012

This information was developed for conditions in the Northeast. Use in other geographical areas may be inappropriate.

The information in this document is for educational purposes only.  The recommendations contained are based on the best available knowledge at the time of publication.  Any reference to commercial products, trade or brand names is for information only, and no endorsement or approval is intended. The Cooperative Extension System does not guarantee or warrant the standard of any product referenced or imply approval of the product to the exclusion of others which also may be available.  The University of Connecticut, Cooperative Extension System, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is an equal opportunity program provider and employer.