corn ear worms

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by debbiebofjc, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. debbiebofjc

    debbiebofjc Well-Known Member

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    I once read that one way to deter corn ear worms was to remove the silks once they begin to turn brown. Has anyone tried this? Does it work?
    Debbie
     
  2. n7cos

    n7cos Member

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    Debbie,
    Corn Silks are what is needed to pollenate the corn. It catches the pollen. If you wait till it turns brown then the corn is about ready to pick. And taking it off would serve no purpose. Feel the corn ear if it's filled out to a blunt end it's ready to pick.
     

  3. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    A few drops of mineral oil on the silks at the husk tip will pretty much prevent corn ear worms from entering the ears.

    The problem is that I don't remember at what stage of silk development to apply the mineral oil. I don't know if done too early it would prevent pollination or not.

    I have my old issues of Organic Gardening, but really hate to take the time to read them to find the answer.

    Wonder if their current Rodale site would tell?
     
  4. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I just searched the "Organic Gardening" magazine site and found the answer as to when to apply mineral oil to silks.

    Here is the search results from http://www.organicgardening.com/feature/0,7518,s1-2-9-1248,00.html

    "Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that using an eyedropper to squirt five drops of corn or soybean oil into the tip of each ear prevented damage. The oil smothers newly hatched caterpillars, when applied just as the first silk begins to wilt and turn brown (about four to six days after silk begins to form)."

    Once again, thanks Organic Gardening magazine for coming to the rescue.
    I have used the method in years past and it works well.
     
  5. debbiebofjc

    debbiebofjc Well-Known Member

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    Is the type of oil critical? I had hear mineral oil, but the quote given says corn or soybean oil. So would any type of vegetable oil work? (canola?)
    Where do you get mineral oil? In what dept in Walmart should I look?
    Too late for this year, but I'll try it next year.
    Debbie
     
  6. debbiebofjc

    debbiebofjc Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and I forgot to say thanks for everyone's advice.
    I couldn't think of how in the world removing the silks after they wilt would work, but I remember reading it somewhere, or maybe I dreamt it?

    Debbie
     
  7. jersey girl

    jersey girl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can pick up mineral oil at most drug stores. Around here it is with the peroxide and rubbing alcohol. It is a heavier oil than corn or soy I think. Maybe it stays in place better than the lighter oils.