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Cutworm control in lawns

Noctuidae

Cutworms are the larvae of moths from the genus Agrotis. There are about 9 species in the genus found in Australia and 3 of those are pests. They are the:

  • Common Cutworm (Agrotis infusa) – the ‘Bogong Moth’
  • Pink Cutworm aka Brown Cutworm (Agrotis munda)
  • Black Cutworm aka Greasy Cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon)

Common Cutworm is found in the southern half of Australia, including Tasmania. A significant number of the adults (‘Bogong Moths’) in south-eastern Australia migrate to mountainous country to shelter over summer. Pink Cutworm and Black Cutworm are found throughout Australia. Black Cutworm is thought to be resident in warmer sub-tropical and tropical parts of Australia, and migrate into southern regions during the warmer months there.

The adult moths of Cutworms are completely harmless and feed on nectar from flowers. Cutworm larvae do all the damage. Larvae feed on a wide range of plants including lawn grasses, vegetables and ornamentals (especially at seedling stage), and broadleaf weeds.

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