University of Illinois Extension
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European Corn Borer (ECB)
Pepper and Sweet Corn


ECB is a very important pepper, sweet corn and tomato pest in Illinois. The female lay more eggs on warm, calm nights. Freshly laid eggs are white and darken as they age. The eggs hatch in about a week. The larva tunnels into pepper & tomato fruits, corncobs or the stems of the plants. It causes more damage to bell peppers than hot peppers. The larva has a cream color with dots but no stripes or spines. The larva entry into the fruit appears as a pinhole wound covered with larval wastes. The first generation of ECB tends to appear during May and June when pepper plants are still small, hence does not cause much problems. The second generation comes out in July and this is very critical because pepper, tomato, and sweet corn are easily attacked at this stage.


Start monitoring the adults using blacklight trap from July 15 onwards. If moths are seen around the fields you can spray with recommended insecticides.