Cutworm season is upon us! A cutworm is a type of caterpillar that feeds on plants. Cutworms are destructive pests that can ruin your perfect lawn in just a few short days. The best way to prevent cutworms is to be proactive and treat your lawn with an insecticide before they have a chance to take hold. Here’s what you need to know about cutworms and how to keep them away from your beautiful lawn.
What are Cutworms?
As we mentioned, cutworms are the caterpillars of several different types of moths, and among them are the black cutworm, army cutworm, greasy cutworm, and clay-backed cutworm, to name a few. Various species of cutworm are found in various areas throughout North America. These caterpillars vary in color, but most are some shade of brown or black. While the adult moths don’t do any damage to plants themselves, their larvae can wreak havoc on your lawn and cause extensive damage. They get their name from their habit of cutting off young plants at the base of the stem, which ultimately kills the plant.
Cutworms typically emerge from the soil in late spring or early summer when temperatures start to rise. They spend the next few weeks feeding on grasses and other plants before pupating into adults. A single moth can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, so as you can probably imagine, it doesn’t take long for a small cutworm problem to become a huge one!
Symptoms of Cutworm Damage
The first sign of cutworm damage usually comes in the form of patches of dead or dying grass in areas of your lawn. Have you seen brown patches that seem to have appeared overnight? Chances are that you have a cutworm problem. You may also notice holes in the ground where the cutworms have burrowed underground to pupate. To confirm that cutworms are responsible for the damage, look for caterpillars on the affected plants or in the area around the dead patches.
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Preventing and Treating Cutworms
The best way to deal with a cutworm infestation is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Keep your lawn healthy by mowing regularly and watering deeply but not too frequently. A thick, healthy lawn is less susceptible to damage from pests like cutworms. You can also reduce the risk of infestation by removing debris and weeds from your property where moths might lay their eggs.
If you already have a problem with cutworms, treating your lawn with an insecticide is the best way to get rid of them. Be sure to choose an insecticide that is specifically labeled for use against caterpillars like cutworms. Apply the product according to the instructions on the label, taking care not to exceed the recommended quantity or frequency of application. With proper treatment, you can get rid of cutworms and go back to enjoying your beautiful, healthy lawn all through grilling season!
Despite your best lawn care efforts, at times, pests and lawn diseases may just become overwhelming. Calling a professional lawn service is always much more cost effective and a timesaver in the long run if you feel you are overwhelmed with cutworms and other pests that might be damaging your beautiful yard. This can help you deter expensive damage by getting a handle on things early on. Call our Texas FullScope lawn pest control experts today at 832-898-0190 for a consultation. Or email us at [email protected]. We can quickly help you get your lawn pest problem under control, as well as other expensive pest problems in your home or business.