Early plants are not as seriously damaged by earworms as
are those planted for a later harvest. Female moths are
attracted to plants in flowering and fruiting stages. They
place eggs in a specific position.
When available, corn silks are one of the earworm's preferred
egg-laying sites; fresh silks are favored over older ones.
On tomatoes, eggs are laid on terminal leaflets; in lettuce,
a preferred site is the crowns of young seedlings. Eggs are
spherical and are laid singly.
Newly laid eggs are white, but they develop a reddish
brown ring after about 24 hours. Larvae feed on fruit and
leaves and drop to the soil to pupate. There are three or
four generations per year.
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