3.1.08 sr: notes ana: match the host plants list with the respective datasheets; although cutworms have many host plants, they are no major pests of all of them, therefore they have not been included in all datasheets of the above mentioned crops; s. by monitoring and decision making: pheromone traps are not available locally. economic threshold for which crop? where? under which conditions?;
Cutworms (Agrotis spp)
Cutworms are the caterpillars of certain moths. They are serious pests of tomato seedlings. They cut stems of newly transplanted or emerged plants at the base. Cutworm damage is more critical after thinning or transplanting.
- Eliminate weeds early, at least 2 weeks before transplanting.
- Plough and harrow the field prior to transplanting. This exposes cutworms to natural enemies and desiccation and helps destroy plant residue that could harbour cutworms.
- Make barriers to protect the transplanted seedlings. Barriers can be made by wrapping paper, aluminium foil, thin cardboard or similar materials around the base of transplant stems. Toilet rolls are handy as cutworm collars since they are readily available and will biodegrade into the soil.
- Dig near damaged seedlings and destroy cutworms.
- Conserve natural enemies. Parasitic wasps and ants are important in natural control of cutworms.