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Re: Cutworms

  • Subject: Re: Cutworms
  • From: Bob <bobaxe@sbtek.net>
  • Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 20:47:39 -0500

Corn cutworms come in several species, the two most common of the
species being the
  dingy cutworm or feltia ducens and the black cutworm or agrotis
ipsilon. Just one cutworm
  can sever the stems of many young plants in the course of an evenings
feeding, so as
  soon as cutworm damage is noted it must be treated to save your crop. 

  What does it look like? 

  Corn cutworms can be either black, brown or grey or a shade somehwere
in this mix of
  dark colors. Typically corn cutworms grow to between 1.5 and 2 inches
long and are often
  seen curled. The inside of their underbelly may appear lighter than
their backs. Damage
  from corn cutworms results in young plants being chewed off at soil
level at the stem.
  Often the damage will look as if someone took a pair of shears to the
plants, cutting them
  close to the soil. Typically when cutworms are present they can be
found at soil level and
  up to two inches deep in the soil. They will curl up even if they are
only minimally

  How does it manifest? 

  Corn cutworms are the larvae of adult cutworms. Adult cutworms are
dark moths that are
  nightflying and they typically have bands or stripes on the area of
their forewings.
  Cutworms can breed several generations in a growing season as they lay
eggs, pupate and
  emerge as mature adult moths. They can cause damage to plants as
wither worms or
  moths, but moths chew the leaves, and do not cut or chew the stems at
soil level. 

  What can you do about it? 

  Cutworm collars are effective in keeping worms off the plants. Collars
can be made from
  stiff paper, tin cans, aluminum foil or even cardboard milk cartons.
Be sure if you use
  collars that they are at least 2 inches high and are pressed firmly
into the soil, preferably 2
  inches deep. You can also control cutworm damage by applying
insecticide containing
  ewither diazinon, chlorpyrifos or by using bait which contains
carbaryl. Cutworms can be
  tenacious and difficult to control so applications of insecticide may
have to be repeated
  regularly at one week intervals in order to control the cutworm
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