Many Iowa corn growers are expressing big concern for a tiny bug known as the corn flea beetle.Rich Pope is a program specialist at the Iowa State University Extension. He says the beetles are having a banner year –perhaps their best ever– and are damaging Iowa’s top crop by feeding on the leaves. Pope says this particular creature also transmits a disease that can kill the corn plants. He says it carries what is known as “Stewart’s Wilt.”Pope says the corn flea beetle has very rapidly infested fields across a wide section of the state.It first appeared in the southern counties along the Missouri border and within a week to ten days, it’s already causing problems in fields as far north as Mason City. Pope explains why the small, shiny black beetle is thriving.Pope says the beetle can be controlled by insecticide. He says field corn isn’t under a great risk, but seed corn, commercial sweet corn and popcorn fields are more prone to economic damage.
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