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Cutworm Control

Cutworms are the larval stage of large, night flying moths that belong to the family Noctuidae. The cutworm moths lay eggs in masses that can number several hundred. Once hatched, the larvae become solitary feeders. Cutworm damage is very much like the name – they cut down plants at the soil surface during the night. These pests hide in thatch or burrow into the soil during the day.

Adult moths feed at dusk by sucking nectar from flowers and are often attracted to lights at night. Cutworms overwinter underground in the pupal stage and emerge in the spring.

Control the population by spraying their target plants with Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki or spraying the soil with the beneficial nematode Steinernema carpocapsae. These products are listed below.

Photo courtesy of Clemson University Department of Entomology, Soils & Plant Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service.

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