There are three common cutworm varieties
Black Cutworm: Agrotis ipsilon
Cutworms are the larvae of various
species of Noctuidae moths.
They are usually green,
brown, grey, or yellow,
often with longitudinal
stripes, up to 5 cm in length.
The larvae are soft and fat,
and roll up when disturbed.
In many climates,
cutworms will winter
under the soil, while
they transform from
larvae to pupae.
Cutworms usually emerge in the spring, and
start feeding when temperatures rise. They
develop into adults (moths) in 20-40 days.
Cutworms cut seedling plants off at the
soil surface, causing the plants to fall over.
They can also occur later in the season,
feeding on foliage and occasionally on fruit.
Corn and Tomato Damage
The worms feed mostly at night.
During the day they may be found curled up in the
damaged fruit or in the soil clods around the plant.
Control cutworms by tilling at least 2
weeks before planting to destroy plant
residue that may be harboring larvae.
This is especially
important if the
previous crop was
alfalfa or other
legumes, or weeds.
In vegetable gardens, protect seedlings with
cardboard collars, screen, or protective cloth.
A toilet paper tube or newspaper
wrapped around seedling stems will
block cutworms from attacking
Management Photo: joenesgarden.com