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Ravenous Moths Blown Into Canada by U.S. Storms May 18, 2012
Black cutworm moth damage
Top: Example of black cutworm moth. Bottom: example of damage the moth's larvae can inflict on corn crops.
Violent spring storms that spawned devastating tornadoes in the American Midwest have also blown huge numbers of moths into neighboring Canada, where farmers could suffer from their untimely arrival.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports the number of black cutworm moths has soared to incredibly high levels in recent weeks.

Those pests are feared to have laid their eggs around Ontario farms, where their emerging larvae can ravage corn crops overnight.

“What you see the next day is plants toppled over or leaf pieces sitting on the ground,” agricultural specialist Dale Cowan told the broadcaster.

But he says the moths can be easily controlled with pesticides if they are caught early enough.

Farmers say they are disappointed that a frost in late April failed to kill the moths and larvae.

“We know they are there. We just have to wait for them to develop,” Cowan said.

Photo: Penn State University