Learn about corn rootworm’s life cycle, the damage it can cause and how SmartStax® technology can help protect against it.
CORN ROOTWORM LIFE CYCLE
Corn rootworm (both northern and western) can go through its entire life cycle within one year, causing damage at different stages throughout the season. Starting as yellowish oval-shaped eggs, corn rootworm hatches and produces larvae. These larvae are white in appearance with a brown to black head. As larvae feed on corn roots and grow, pupation occurs and adults emerge shortly after. These adults mate and eggs are deposited in the soil — where they’ll remain until the cycle starts again the following year.
Corn rootworm is unique in the fact that it can survive the extreme winters of the Corn Belt. It does this by entering a physiological state of arrest (called diapause) in the egg stage that allows it to overwinter. When a certain number of heat units have been accumulated in the spring, the eggs will hatch. Because of this, your corn-on-corn acres remain at risk even after a cold winter.
A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF CORN ROOTWORM
DAMAGE DURING THE LARVAL STAGE
Corn rootworm larvae feed on corn roots.
- Root damage can limit water and nutrient uptake, causing a potential loss in yield
- Damage to roots can result in lodging, causing the crop to tip over during wind events and making it difficult to harvest
DAMAGE DURING THE ADULT STAGE
Corn rootworm can continue to damage corn in its adult stage.
- Corn rootworm beetles feed on pollen and corn silks, which can prevent pollination from occurring
- Corn rootworm will feed on leaves if silks and pollen are not present
PROTECTING CORN WITH SMARTSTAX® TECHNOLOGY
SmartStax® technology controls corn rootworm larvae and other insect pests to protect your crop’s yield potential. With modes of action that cover below- and above-ground insects, it can offer peace of mind throughout the season.