Seed Corn Maggots Control in Spring Planted Vegetables

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist; jwhalen@udel.edu

With the warm winter conditions, we have observed seed corn maggot flies actively laying eggs earlier and for a longer period of time. Adult flies are active in temperatures down to the mid 40s so it very likely that maggot populations could be higher in spring planted vegetables. Conditions that favor egg laying activity include decaying cover crops, high organic matter, freshly plowed fields, and/or manure applications. Spring planted vegetables susceptible to maggot damage include cole crops, melons, peas, snap beans, spinach, and sweet corn. Control options can include commercial applied seed treatments, or soil insecticides; however, not all options are available for all crops. As a reminder, seed treatment labels indicate that they provide only early season protection of seedlings against injury from seed corn maggots. Please refer to the labels as well as the DE Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendationshttp://ag.udel.edu/extension/vegprogram/publications.htm#vegrecs

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