True Armyworms. Photo by OSU Extension.

Black cutworms and true armyworms arriving

By Andy MichelKelley TilmonCurtis Young, CCAClifton Martin, CCALee Beers, CCABeth ScheckelhoffEric Richer, CCAMark BadertscherCindy Wallace, Ohio State University Extension

We have begun collecting two important pest in our expanded trapping this year—true armyworm and black cutworm. True armyworms feed on wheat before moving on young (typically late-planted) corn. Black cutworm can feed on young corn and even completely cut plants. The moths of these pests migrate from the south and lay eggs in April and May.  True armyworms prefer to lay eggs in wheat or even grassy cover crops like rye whereas black cutworms tend to lay eggs in weedy fields, especially those with chickweed or purple deadnettle. However, infestations are really hard to predict, and the best way to prevent damage is by scouting.

Although we have found moths in our traps, the overall number is relatively low (14 total for armyworm and 17 for black cutworm). We expect activity of both moths to increase over the next few weeks, and then larval activity later in May.  For the most up to date trap numbers, please monitor updates at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yl_FeI5IJKkBVfdvKJuE6pWkd58OVhCyHeZ6SZM-ePE/edit?usp=sharing.

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