How to Control Sweet Corn Pests Organically

Overview

Like any other crop, sweet corn is susceptible to pest infestations. The most common types of insects found in sweet corn are corn earworms and corn borers. If infestations from these insects go on for too long, they can easily destroy a small crop in a single growing season. Corn pests are easy to control without the need for chemical pesticides, but it takes time and effort to do it right.

Step 1

Set up a light trap about 10 feet away from your corn crop. The light will lure pests away from your corn and to the trap. For best results, follow the installation directions on your light trap.

Step 2

Plant marigolds near the corn crop. Marigolds repel certain insects, such as the corn earworm.

Step 3

Let ladybugs loose near the corn crop. These tiny bugs are great for eating small insects, larvae and eggs but will not harm your plants. A single ladybug can eat up to 60 insect eggs per day.

Step 4

Trim the silk on top of the corn cobs every four days. This will reduce the amount of eggs an insect can lay in the corn.

Step 5

Fill a medicine dropper with mineral oil. Drop three to four drops inside of the silk on top of each of the corn cobs. The oil will make a barrier that insects are unable to get through.

Things You'll Need

  • Light trap
  • Ladybugs
  • Marigolds
  • Gardening shears
  • Mineral oil
  • Medicine dropper

References

  • Organic Garden Pests: Pest Control
Keywords: control corn pests, organic pest control, sweet corn pesticide, mineral oil pest control

About this Author

Kenneth Coppens is a part-time freelance writer and has been for one year. He currently writes for Demand Studios, eHow, Associated Content and is the Indianapolis Craft Beer Expert for Examiner.