European corn borer

Boring pests

European corn borer larvae initially chew round holes in leaves and then tunnel into plant stems. European corn borer will attack a wide variety of herbaceous perennials grown outdoors. They are more problematic in areas adjacent to cornfields.

European Corn Borer
European corn borer larvae are 2 to 2.5 cm in length. They are gray to pink with a distinct black head. Dark brown spots are present on each segment of the abdomen.


Remove volunteer corn from adjacent areas. Applications of an insecticide derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringensis var. kurstaki are effective on young larvae feeding on plant leaves but less effective on larvae that bore into plant tissues. Scout regularly using yellow sticky cards, which are attractive to the adults.

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.