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Cutworms on the Loose!

May 1, 2012

A black cutworm larva
Black Cutworm
A black cutworm moth
Black Cutworm Moth
A bronze cutworm crawling in grass
Bronze Cutworm
A cutworm moth
Cutworm Moth

Cutworms have been abundant all spring, but in the past week or so I think in many areas the numbers have increased. Keep an eye out for the moths flying around. They will lay their eggs on the tips of the turfgrass, so disposing your clippings properly will reduce populations by at least 70%. Use soapy water solution to bring the caterpillars to the surface. We can get multiple generations of these each year especially since we had an unseasonable warm spring. They can cause damage all the way up to Thanksgiving, so be proactive now!

Watch DIane Silcox demonstrate the Soapy Water Flush detection method for Fall Armyworms and Cutworms.

Black cutworms can be particularly troublesome on putting greens. Most other turfgrass settings (golf course fairways, home lawns, athletic fields, etc) can tolerate the typical abundance of cutworms that we observe on putting greens.

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