Choose Resistant Varieties of Corn
Plant resistant or tolerant varieties of sweet corn. Resistance is associated with tighter husks, harder kernels, and lower concentrations of amino acids. `Country Gentleman', `Silver Cross Bantam', `Iona', `Aristogold', `Seneca Scout', and `Seneca Chief' have shown resistance to corn earworm.
Alter Your Planting Date
In the North, it is best to plant corn as early as possible to avoid really hot weather. Later plantings encounter a lot more earworm damage than early ones. In the South this measure has little effect.
Encourage Predator Birds And Animals
Flycatchers, barn swallows, downy woodpeckers, sparrows, blackbirds, grackles, and phoebes relish corn earworms. Moles and toads eat their share as well. Provide food, shelter and water for birds year round.
Encourage Predator Insects In Yard
Assassin bugs, Ground beetles, Minute Pirate Bug, Soldier beetles, and the Tachinid fly are all beneficial predators of the corn earworm. Avoid using broad spectrum pesticides which harm these resident allies as well as pest insects.
Other Prevention Steps
Some gardeners report reduced earworm damage when they light the corn patch at night. The light seems to repel the egg-laying moth.