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 some moths. They destroy whole plants by girdling and cutting off young seedlings at the soil level during the night. They hide in the soil during the day.
- Plough field and remove weeds well ahead of planting the crop in the field. Ploughing exposes caterpillars to predators and to desiccation by the sun. If the field is planted soon after land preparation some cutworms may be alive and attack the new crop.
- Inspect soil carefully for the presence of cutworms when preparing land for planting.
- Make barriers to protect seedlings. Barriers can be made by wrapping paper, aluminium foil, thin cardboard, or similar materials around the base of young plant stems. Toilet rolls are handy as cutworm collars since they are readily available and will biodegrade into the soil.
- Monitor damage by counting damaged and freshly cut young plants.
- Collect and destroy cutworms. Cutworms are found in the soil close to damaged plants at daytime. Check for cutworms at dawn.