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Western Bean Cutworm

WBC Adult

      The western bean cutworm (WBC), Striacosta albicosta, is a late season pest that attacks corn (including field, sweet and popcorn) and both dry and snap beans. Moth larvae feed on developing kernels in husks or beans in pods causing economic damage.  Infestations involve multiple larvae per ear causing substantial losses. This moth is native to North America, and prior to 2000  losses occurred only in the western Corn Belt states. It has been on an eastward expansion.  It was found in Ontario in 2008, Pennsylvania and New York in 2009, and Vermont in 2011. 

WBC LarvaeWBC Damage
WBC LarvaWBC Damage to Corn

This is an emerging pest in the Eastern US. Last summer, scientists at the UVM Entomology Research Laboratory collaborated with Penn State and Cornell Univ. on a WBC survey using pheromone traps, which resulted in the first detection in South Burlington, VT. This year we expanded our survey to three VT counties (Franklin, Rutland and Addison) to better understand of WBC distribution and abundance. This will allow farmers to be prepared should there be a need for WBC management in the future. It is expected that this could become a serious pest farmers will have to be aware of in future years.

If you are a VT farmer and you think you have WBC, please contact the Entomology Laboratory at (802) 656-5434 or cfrank@uvm.edu.

Click HERE for the 2012-2013 summary of WBC trapping results! 

2013 VT WBC Survey Data

DateCountyTownNo. WBC Adults
7/26/13ChittendenSouth Burlington1
7/26/13RutlandEast Wallingford2
8/8/13RutlandEast Wallingford1
8/8/13ChittendenSouth Burlington3

Click HERE for the 2012 summary of WBC trapping results! 

2012 VT WBC Survey Data

DateCountyTownNo. WBC Adults
7/27/12AddisonNew Haven3
7/27/12RutlandE. Wallingford3
7/27/12RutlandN. Clarendon2
8/7/12RutlandE. Wallingford2
8/21/12RutlandE. Wallingford1

Results from the NYS Weekly Field Crops Pest Report that contains additonal WBC survey data can be found at: http://nysipm.cornell.edu/fieldcrops/tag/pestrpt/default.asp

Please visit Pest Watch for information on several key pests: http://www.pestwatch.psu.edu/

For additional WBC information, please visit the following websites:


Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

BMSB Adult

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys, is one of the latest exotic invasive pests to reach northern New England, and it is expected to have a major impact on vegetable and fruit production in the future. There have been several sightings in Vermont in 2011 and 2012. It is known to feed on over 300 plants, many of which are important food crops. Damage to crops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2011 was estimated to be in the millions. It also is a serious nuisance pest, when it enters homes in the fall in large numbers. To date, no chemical pesticide or biological control agent has been found to be particularly effective. UVM ERL scientists have been testing the effectiveness of the commercial insect-killing fungus Botanigard against the adult stage in laboratory trials. Three concentrations of the fungus were tested, and the highest rate killed 67-100% of the adults within 12 days. More research is needed to determine how best to use this microbial product under field conditions. 

Several other naturally-occurring insects are often mistaken for the BMSB. Click HERE for a fact sheet on the BMSB as well as their common look alikes.

If you suspect you have BMSB and are unable to identify them, please take the specimens  to your Extension specialist to confirm their identity.

For more BMSB information, please visit the following websites:





Tarnished Plant Bug


The tarnished plant bug (TPB), Lygus lineolarisis, is one of the most serious pests of small fruits, such as strawberries, and vegetables in New England. Feeding by adults and nymphs cause lesions and deformations on fruits resulting in economic losses.

Click HERE for our factsheet on recognizing TPB damage on vegetables, fruits and herbs.

In the early 2000s, the Entomology Research Laboratory examined the effects of several strains of insect-killing fungi for the management of TPB. 
The list of publications that contain results from these trials are listed below. Please contact us for more information. 

Liu H, Skinner M, Parker BL. 2003. Bioassay method for assessing the virulence of Beauveria bassiana against tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Hem., Miridae). JOURNAL OF APPLIED ENTOMOLOGY 127(5):299-304.  

Liu HP, Skinner M, Brownbridge M, Parker BL. 2003. Characterization of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae isolates for management of tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Hemiptera : Miridae). JOURNAL OF INVERTEBRATE PATHOLOGY  82(3): 139-147.

Liu HP, Skinner M, Parker BL, Brownbridge M. 2002. Pathogenicity of Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycotina : Hyphomycetes), and other entomopathogenic fungi against Lygus lineolaris (Hemiptera : Miridae). JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY 95(4): 675-681.  

For more TPB information, please visit the following websites:

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