Western bean cutworm (WBC), traditionally is a pest of the western Great Plains; however, it has moved eastward over the past 15 years to as far east as Pennsylvania.
Newly hatched WBC larvae feed on corn ear tips and in some cases on the sides of the ear, causing yield and quality loss.
Understanding the life cycle of WBC along with scouting and treatment of this pest is critical for preventing yield and quality loss.
Native to North America, western bean cutworm (WBC) can be a severe pest of corn and dry beans (but not soybean). Historically, WBC was primarily limited to the western Great Plains but has expanded its range eastward over the last 15 years through the Corn Belt to as far as Pennsylvania (Figure 1).1 WBC does not cut plant stems like most cutworms, but rather feeds on the reproductive parts of plants. The late-season feeding of WBC can reduce yield and grain quality.