Information provided by: Tracey Baute and Meghan Moran, OMAFRA and Chris Gillard, University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus
Western bean cutworm (WBC) has become the primary pest of corn in the Great Lakes region and is reaching that status in dry beans too. WBC damage was found back in 2014 in a few dry beans fields between Thamesville and Strathroy and has now expanded to most of the dry bean growing regions here. The challenge we have with this pest in dry beans is our inability to successfully scout for it before damage occurs. Unlike in corn, where you can spot WBC egg masses and larvae feeding during the day, in dry beans the larvae only feeds at night while hiding in the soil during the day. The architecture of the dry bean plant also makes it challenging to spot egg masses or even pod feeding, until leaves start to drop off the plant near harvest.