Black Cutworms Making Their Annual Migration North – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

Black Cutworms Making Their Annual Migration North

Black Cutworms have started showing up in light traps around Indiana. This means they will soon laying eggs, if they haven’t already.  Superintendents should be on the lookout for evidence of feeding damage on greens and tees. Also, remember that a soap flush of vulnerable, short-cut areas will often reveal the presence of black cutworms before damage is evident. One gallon of soapy water solutions consisting of 15 ml of lemon scented liquid dish detergent (Lemon Joyâ) poured over a 0.25 m area at several locations on each green or tee will quickly disclose these larvae which may be very small at this point in the season. Black cutworms are easy to control and there are a number of products that will do an excellent job, but remember to treat the target areas and at least a 15 ft. perimeter. Higher cut areas are not usually damaged, but they do serve as a potential reservoir of cutworms when they are located around more sensitive low-cut areas.

Some recommended active ingredients include:
Lambda – cyhalothrin
Stienernema carpocapsae (insect parasitic nematode)
Bacillus thuringeinsis (kurstaki strain)
As always, follow label directions for proper rates and do not irrigate for at least 24 hours after making a liquid application.
Doug Richmond
Turfgrass Entomologist



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