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Old World Bollworm

Scientific Name

Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner, 1809) (Pogue 2004)

Common Name

Old World bollworm (OWB), cotton bollworm, African bollworm

Native To

Found throughout all of the Old World between 40°N and 40°S (Nibouche et al. 1998)

Date of U.S. Introduction

In September 2014, the first U.S. detection of OWB occurred in western Puerto Rico (Tembrock et al. 2019)

Means of Introduction

Frequently intercepted at U.S. ports of entry on imported cut flowers and herbs (Pogue 2004)


Feeds on a large range of plant hosts and could cause serious economic losses to corn and cotton in the U.S. (Tay et al. 2013)

Current U.S. Distribution

Not currently established

Old world bollwworm, cotton bollworm larva(e)
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Old world bollwworm, cotton bollworm; Photo by Paolo Mazzei

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Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government