- Many garden fruit, vegetable, and ornamental plants are affected.
- Cutworms are the larvae of certain species of nocturnal moths.
- They are widespread throughout the UK.
- In June and July the moths lay eggs in batches of 30-50 on leaves and stems. The eggs hatch two weeks later.
- Larvae range from dull grey or brown in colour to green or white. They can reach 2-4cm in length when fully grown.
- Larvae can be found feeding at night on the soil surface.
- They cause severe damage by chewing the base of stems, roots, leaves and tubers.
- After one to two months of feeding they pupate in the soil.
- A second generation hatches in August and September.
- Second generation larvae will over-winter in the soil, coming to the surface to feed when environmental conditions are favourable.
Products containing the following chemical ingredients are all effective on Cutworms
- There are no approved insecticides currently available to amateur gardeners.
Note: It is important to read manufacturer's instructions for use and the associated safety data information before applying chemical treatments.
- Regularly cultivate soil in winter to expose over-wintering larvae to predators.
- Encourage insectivorous birds by hanging bird boxes and feeders.
- In greenhouses drench potted plants to bring larvae to the surface, then pick them off by hand.
- Use pheromone traps to monitor the presence of moths during June and July.
- Avoid planting in known areas of infestation.
- Keep gardens free from weeds and plant debris as they can be used for egg laying.