Pest description, crop damage and life history
Pest monitoring Slow emergence and poor stand establishment are signs of seedcorn maggot activity. Where slow, spotty emergence is observed, dig up seed and inspect it for maggot feeding. Cool soil temperature and periods of excessive moisture favoring slow seed germination and seedling emergence increase susceptibility to seedcorn maggot infestation. To assess potential infestation levels prior to planting, place a cut potato or other vegetable or fruit in the field and apply bakers yeast with some water to the cut surface. Leave the bait for several hours and return to look for the presence of adult seedcorn maggot flies as they are attracted to carbon dioxide.
To reduce attractiveness of the field to egg-laying adults, disc or plow early in the year, incorporating residues from a previous crop and destroying weed growth. Plant under ideal soil and weather conditions to assure rapid seed germination and minimize the seedcorn maggot problem.
One of the most reliable control methods now in general use is to plant seeds that are treated with an appropriate insecticide in the seed box at planting. However, this treatment is not sufficient to provide field protection against seedcorn maggots.
Management-chemical control: HOME USE
- bifenthrin (as a mix with zeta-cypermethrin).
- pyrethrins-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
Management-chemical control: COMMERCIAL USE
- captan/carboxin/imidacloprid (Enhance AW) at 0.1875 lb ai/100 lb seed. REI 12 hr.
- thiamethoxam (Cruiser 5FS) at 0.5 oz ai/100 lb of seed. REI 12 hr.
- thiamethoxam/mefenoxam/fludioxnil (Cruiser Maxx) at 3 fl oz product per 100 lb seed. Minimum plantback interval 120 days from planting. See label instructions.