Diseases & Pests of Sweet Corn

Diseases & Pests of Sweet Corn image by Morguefile.com
Diseases & Pests of Sweet Corn image by Morguefile.com


Growing sweet corn is not always easy. Not only weather conditions can make it difficult, but farmers and gardeners may find themselves battling a variety of pests and diseases in order to grow a healthy crop of corn.

Bacterial Disease

Stewart's wilt is a bacterial disease that is transmitted by way of the corn flea beetle and is most common in the northeast area of the United States

Fungal Diseases

Fungal diseases include seed rots, damping off and poor stand caused by planting in cold soil; common rust (rusty appearance on the leaves) caused by high nitrogen, heavy dew and moderate temperatures; and common smut, which appears as large galls (a lumpy growth of spores).


Worms that can damage the leaves, roots, and ears include corn earworms, European corn borers, fall armyworms, corn rootworms, cutworms and wireworms.

Other Pests

Other damaging pests include corn flea beetles, Japanese beetles, corn sap beetles, corn leaf aphids and cornseed maggots.

Disease Control

Methods to control diseases include crop rotation, planting in well-draining areas, planting disease resistant and tolerant varieties, staggered planting, and planting in warm soils.

Pest Control

Depending upon the specific pest involved, pest control may be managed by crop rotation, timing of planting, Insecticidal soaps and sprays and planting of resistant varieties.


  • Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management
  • Insect Pests of Sweet Corn

Who Can Help

  • Organic Pest and Disease Control
Keywords: sweet corn, beetles, pest control, growing vegetables

About this Author

Carole Ann has been writing since 2009. She has 34 years of experience as an administrative assistant and has written articles on a variety of topics for eHow and Answerbag and she provides travel-related content for LIVESTRONG.COM. Ann has an Associate of Arts in general studies from Carroll Community College.

Photo by: Morguefile.com

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