Cutworm

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Classification

Scientific name Agrotis, Nephelodes, Peridroma
Family Noctuidae

Cutworms are the larval stage of nocturnal moths. Most larvae are grey, brown or black as seen by coloured bands. The pupae are reddish-brown and approximately 16 mm (5/8 inch) long. As adults, the moths have hairy bodies and are larger than Sod Webworm moths. Adult moths lay their eggs in clusters in turfgrass at night. Cutworm larvae usually feed during the night, and take shelter by day. These insects typically cut off young plants at the crown level and pull them into a burrow before feeding.

Turf Symptoms

• Young plants usually chewed off at the crown level.
• Large, green excrement pellets (frass) on turf surface.
• Chewing damage on grass blades.
• Look for starlings and other birds that frequent an area and leave probing holes in turf.

Other Problems