Black Cutworm – Vegetable Crops Hotline

Black Cutworm

We have had substantial black cutworm moth (Figure 1.) catches in our pheromone traps. Black cutworm moths typically lay their eggs on winter annual weeds growing in un-tilled fields. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will begin feeding on the weeds. Then, when you kill the weeds with either tillage or a burndown herbicide, the larvae are left there with nothing to eat. If you wait a couple of weeks to plant, they will probably starve to death. If you plant sooner than that, they will just be really hungry and will readily attack a variety of crops. The pyrethroid insecticides provide good, economical control.

Figure 1. Black cutworm larva (photo by John Obermeyer)

Figure 1. Black cutworm larva (Photo by John Obermeyer)


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