Skip to main content
Click to open menu
Click to close menu
Begin main content
FMC Upside Hatchtrack
Insecticides & Miticides

Black Cutworm Monitoring

Read the entire report from

our technical services team


Southerly winds are disseminating warmer temperatures and cutworm moths into the Midwest. Intense black cutworm moth flights are currently transpiring in the Midwest. Fields containing heavy winter annual weed pressure or cover crops are primary targets for egg laying moths. Minor leaf feeding will likely occur when 200 GDDs have accumulated from an intense moth flight. Cutting typically occurs with the accumulation of approximately 300 GDDs from an intense flight. Including pyrethroid insecticides with burndown/preemergence and early post applications particularly on higher risk fields will assist in deterring migrating females, knock down small larvae and reduce damage inflicted by cutworms later in the season.

Cutworm Facts:

  • Do not overwinter in the Midwest.
  • Deposited from the South with spring storms.
  • Undergo seven instars of growth.
    • First to third feed on leaf margins.
    • Fourth to seventh cut plants.
  • Capable of cutting plants up to V6.
  • Later planted corn is more susceptible to cutting.
  • Feeding mostly occurs at night.
  • Hide under soil surface during daylight.
  • Threshold: 2-3% of plants cut, larvae under ¾’’.

Early-season corn pest moth identification


Black cutworm European corn borer true armyworm
black cutworm


European Corn Borer Moth


True Armyworm


Dagger-shaped marking on forewing.
Hind wings are light in color with light brown margin.
Pale yellow to brown in color.
Irregular darker wavy lines across wings.
Tan to light brown.
Small white spot centered on forewing.

Cutworm Recommendations:

  • Provide knockdown and residual activity for hatch and feeding by applying Mustang® Maxx or Hero®insecticides at 2.6 fl. oz./A. Can be surface applied preplant or after planting prior to corn emergence.
  • For broad-spectrum insect activity (great option on brown stinkbugs) and improved residual control of Lepidopteran pests, consider the new for 2021 Elevest® insect control.Combination of Rynaxypyr® (Group 28) and bifenthrin (Group 3A) active ingredients.Use Rate: 5-8 fl. oz./A

Mustang Maxx and Hero insecticides, and Elevest insect control are Restricted Use Pesticides. Always read and follow all label directions, precautions and restrictions for use. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states. Elevest insect control may not be registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your local FMC retailer or representative for details and availability in your state. FMC, the FMC logo, Elevest, Hero, Mustang, Rynaxypyr are trademarks, and HatchTrak is a service mark of FMC Corporation or an affiliate. ©2021 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved. 04/21

More inside this issue

Download this full report from the technical services team.