Fall armyworm and beet armyworm are two pests that we monitor with pheromone traps throughout the summer at several sites in Ohio. These two pests are sporadic in occurrence; they are sometimes absent in Ohio and sometimes present at damaging levels, especially in September and October. These were absent for most of this summer at Ohio sites, but are present now at some sites.
Fall armyworm attacks sweet corn, peppers, and tomatoes. This year, the fall armyworm was detected in Huron County, Medina County, and Franklin County starting in late August, and it is still being detected at those locations.
The beet armyworm has been absent at most sites but has been detected during the past week in Franklin County. It attacks peppers and tomatoes.
These two pests are challenging to manage because their appearance is so sporadic and because the larvae are generally tolerant of pyrethroids; they are better controlled by non-pyrethroids such as Avaunt, Proclaim, Radiant, or Intrepid.
Corn earworm is a third pest that is best known as a significant pest on sweet corn in late August and into September, but once the sweet corn is gone, the corn earworm can cause significant damage to bell peppers. It also attacks tomatoes where it prefers green fruit over red fruit. Corn earworm moths were detected at very high levels in late August at some sites, and they are still being detected at high density in Clark, Franklin, and Huron Counties.
-Celeste Welty, Extension Entomologist