PMN Crop News Homepage   

Posted 29 April 2014. PMN Crop News.

Black Cutworm Monitoring Network

Black Cutworm moths begin migration across the state

Source: Penn State University Press Release.

University Park, Pennsylvania (April 21, 2014)--Again this spring, Penn State Extension is monitoring arriving populations of black cutworm moths. Each spring, this pest species colonizes Pennsylvania on storm fronts from southern states, and the best way to know it is here and when the caterpillars will be active cutting plants is to trap the moths as they arrive. As in past years, we have established Penn State’s Black Cutworm Monitoring Network to help growers understand the risk from this pest. Penn State Extension educators are monitoring about 20 traps across the state and via this newsletter we will let folks know the status of arriving populations and when they should scout their fields for damage.


Believe it or not, we have already captured some moths, which appear to have come north during the warm weather on the weekend of 12 April. You may recall that following that nice, warm weekend, temperatures took a plunge and we had at least one night below freezing. As reported by colleagues at Purdue, this temperature drop may well have doomed those cutworm moths that arrived prior to it. We will see how it all works out with continued trapping and any reports of cutting damage later in spring. For more details on black cutworm, its biology and management options see our fact sheet.

John Tooker