Have you ever seen such a thing?

Worms attacking organic corn is practically unavoidable! Corn ear worms are 1- to 2-inch caterpillars that are green, yellow, pink or brown with a white stripe and black legs. They pupate into tan-colored moths with a 1 1/2- to 2-inch wingspan. Typically only single eggs are laid within the silk. When the ear worm larvae hatch from the eggs, they feed on nearby leaves and their feeding can stunt the overall growth of the crop. However, the worst case of ear worms is one where the worms have fed on the silks which can result in poor pollination and interrupted kernel development. Corn ear worms can produce several generations within a growing season. Quite often when harvesting you may find an ear worm nestled on your corn, having eaten a little bit of it. You can read more about these pests and see pictures (warning they are gross) at this link here, created by the great University of Kentucky Sweet Corn Pests.

I have a wonderful neighbor that last summer kindly passed ears of his corn over the fence for our family to enjoy, but he’d always warn of worms. “Just cut that part off” he says, well I can’t do it! It’s really gross to have worms on there even though we all know it’s part of growing our own vegetables. So off to the net I go to find an organic solution, and what do I find? This! Off to the dollar store I ran to get some knee high panty hose, yup! Just put them over your corn ears as soon as they begin to grow and you when they are ready to harvest you will not have worms in them, relief! It does look quite funny and at times I do have to remind people that visit my garden – they are all new hose! Let me tell you there is nothing better than a freshly grilled piece of wormless, home grown corn, enjoy!


6 responses to this post.

  1. Pantyhose on the corns! Good idea!!


  2. My guess is that your corn covers are in Coffee and Taupe ?? You sure go to a lot of work …..thanks for always sharing!


  3. Wild! To bad about the worms, but at least now you have some modern art to look at!


  4. I wanted to let you know my blog moved! You can now find the Dandelion Wrangler at http://www.FlorabyLaura.ca Stop by anytime!


  5. Posted by Shannon Moore on September 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Just found your blog and my husband and I love it as we also live in So. Cal.,Temecula area and enjoy fresh vegis from the California sun.


  6. Posted by Lisa Thomas on March 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Wondering how ears get pollinated if silks are covered? Or are they fully pollinated at this point? Great idea! Thank you


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