Earworms, those nasty little caterpillars that just find joy in chewing up your sweet corn, making it moldy, and bringing tears to your eyes when you realize that wonderful sweet corn you dreamed about is just never going to be. 😦 But no! Nothing is going to get between you and that corn–NOTHING. Here’s how to get prevent and get rid of these pesky buggers.
Sadly, I don’t have a picture to help you identify the little guys (since I killed every one I found alive right away… 🙂 ), but it’s easy to find a pic by doing a quick internet search. Anyways, on to the good part…
Method #1: Tilling
The first prevention method is to till your soil in the fall and spring as it will help kill off any eggs or worms in the soil. I know there’s a lot of debate out there about till versus no-till–at the currentpoint I don’t really have a stance, but do what works best for you!
Method #2: Clothespins
When the silk begins appearing on your corn, take a clothespin and clamp it where the silk first begins. The earworm moths lay their eggs on the silk, so the pin will help prevent them from climbing up the silk and into the ear once they hatch.
Method #3: Spinosad
Spraying the silk with an organic pesticide containing spinosad is another way to get rid of the little pests. Continue re-applying as directed on the label.
Hope this helps you all enjoy a wonderful sweet corn harvest this year! A combination of the three techniques above will be better than implementing just one. Do you have another way that you prevent/kill earworms in your garden? I’d love to hear about it! ❤
Happy worm-free gardening! 😀