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Jim East Tn said:
How do you all do it? I hate worm squish with my corn--any experiences would be greatly appreciated!
I grow a small patch of corn, maybe 100 stalks, and each week as soon as the corn starts to silk I walk up each row and dust each ear with Sevin. I put about a 1/2 cup of the Sevin powder in an old cotton sock, with no holes, and shake it above each ear and a little cloud of dust falls on the silks.
Bill
 

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I've read, but haven't tried, that you can apply a couple drops of mineral oil on the silks of each ear as soon as they start to appear. I usually grow too much corn to try it, but may try just one patch this year and see how it works. Don't like to use any pesticides, so we just give the worms to the chickens. Jan in Co
 

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Adding to the mineral oil trick. Seen this mentioned on a seed company's website, using an eyedropper half filled with mineral oil squirt each ear with the dropperful when the silk has just begun turning brown. I'm going to try a few rows this year and see if it helps.
T
 

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I can vouch for the mineral oil. When I was a kid and one of my chores was to tend the vegetable garden, that's what we used to do. As I recall, when the tassels first form, you put a few drops in the center of the tassel silk. I guess the worms don't like it and won't go in. Or lay eggs, or whatever they do to get in the corn. But I think the secret was to do it early, before they became infested. And I think you only had to do it once.

You could either use an eye dropper or a squeeze bottle to make the job less messy.

We never did find anything to keep the potato bugs away except for a dose of M-1. Worked like a charm! But before that, we used to hand pick them and drop them into kerosene. When we got a full jar, we'd burn 'em. Whew! What a stink!

My grandfather loved to tell stories. When I'd complain about all those potato bugs he'd tell me of an old invention for getting rid of the potato bugs. It was 2 blocks of wood and it came with these instructions:

"Step #1: Place potato bug on one block of wood.
Step #2: Slam the second block onto the first block"

:haha:
 

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I did a google search using the keywords "corn borers mineral oil" and came up with this link and the home page it came from.

An excerpt form the Q & A:

I planted corn in my garden this fall and it turned out beautifully, but the corn ear worms ate more corn than I did. What can I do to prevent this?

Spray or dust the ear silks with Sevin (carbaryl) to prevent adult insects from entering and laying eggs. Begin dusting and spraying at an early stage and repeat every two days. A drop of mineral oil on the silks is recommended to prevent earworm damage.
http://www.farminfo.org/garden/sweetcorn-m.htm

This is the homepage of this site, hope it helps.

Welcome to the Small Farm Resource! These web pages have been created to help disseminate information of use to people with small farms or rural property. This is a cooperative effort. Some of our information comes from people like you. We are merely playing the part of the organizer and repository.
http://www.farminfo.org/
 

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I don't know how you encourage paper wasps to come to your property but they take care of all kinds of caterpillars. Paper wasps are not aggressive unless you get within a couple feet of the nest, so high up in the barns or eaves they are safe. At least you don't have to spray them to kill them out. They eat sod and tree webworms as well as tomato and tobacco horn worms.
 
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