Common Stalk Borer

Papaipema nebris

Stalk borer larva.

Larva of the common stalk borer.

Stalk borer adult

Stalk borer adult.

The common stalk borer overwinters as eggs laid in grassy areas or occasionally in fields with lots of crop residue. Damage occurs in May and June and may kill the growing point of young plants, causing 'deadheart'. Plants along field margins typically suffer the most infestation. No-till or minimum tillage fields, particularly those with poor control of grassy weeds, may have damage widely distributed over the field when planted to corn the following year. Latter larvae exhibit a prominent transverse purplish band in the region of the true legs that is distinctive to this insect. In early instars, most of the front half of the larva is dark purplish. Most Kansas infestations of economic significance occur in the northeastern part of the state.

Please consult the most recent Corn Insect Management Guide for control options.

Page last updated 03/28/2024 by J.P. Michaud.