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(crown & thatch inhabitant)

Dull-brown, gray or nearly black caterpillars that are 1?" — 2" long. Some cutworms are spotted, others are striped. Usually they hide in the soil during the day and feed at night. They are the larvae of night-flying brown or grayish moths. Cutworms occasionally infest lawns. They feed on the leaves or cut off the grass near the soil and may do severe damage to seedlings of Bermudagrass, Bentgrass and Ryegrass.

Cutworms are large, hairless surface feeding moth larvae which can destroy patches of turf. Cutworms feed at night and damage the turf by snipping plants off at ground level, Cutworm Larvaehiding in thatch by day. Birds feeding extensively in a turf area may indicate a high population of cutworms.

Cutworms often appear in the early spring when temperatures are slightly above freezing. Damage appears as closely clipped grass in patterns radiating from their tunnel or hiding place. Cutworm Moth Photo

Threshold: 10 per sq. ft.


Cutworms leave small, 1" — 2" wide patches of brown grass in newly seeded and established lawns; the plants are eaten off at soil level. Cutworms don't seriously damage grass unless there is a severe infestation. More damage may be done by birds scratching at the turf to feed on the larvae.


Bacillus thuringiensis, carbaryl, cyfluthrin, neem, pyrethrum