Entries » Iowa Black Cutworm Monitoring 2012

Counties with black cutworm moth traps (click on a highlighted county to see trap captures).
Some locations in Cedar, Louisa, and Muscatine Counties are using bucket traps, rather than wing style traps. In Muscatine, one location is using a cone trap, which requires higher moth captures than a wing trap to signal peak flight.

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NameIowa Black Cutworm Monitoring 2012
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The black cutworm, a pest of corn in Iowa, causes damage early in the season. The insect does not overwinter here. Instead, adult moths migrate on the wind from southern states near the beginning of spring, mate and lay eggs. Approximately 1300 eggs are laid by a single mated adult female. Eggs are laid in crop stubble, low spots in the field and in weedy areas. Younger larvae injure corn plants by feeding on leaf tissue and older larvae can cut seedlings. Once corn reaches the V5 stage, it becomes harder for the pest to cut plants. Three generations of black cutworm occur per year.

Black cutworms can be confused with another insect that may be found in fields during spring, the dingy cutworm. However, there are some characteristics that can help to set species apart such as skin type and tubercle size which are outlined in detail in ICM News article Blacks and Dingys: Confusing Cutworms.