Pale western cutworm moth


  • Adult: Moth that is gray or tan, ¾" long with a wingspan of 13⁄8". Undersides of wings are white.
  • Larvae: Grayish-yellow in color, with a distinct white stripe down the back. Grow to about 1¼" long. Head is yellow-brown with black dashes that form an inverted "V."
  • Eggs: Up to 300 are laid in the upper 2" of cultivated soil in the early fall. 

Timing of damage: Summer, especially after a dry spring

Type of damage: Severs the stem just below the soil surface.

Scouting: Dig and sort through soil from a foot of row and count the number of larvae per row foot. Take samples from several locations and scout early.

Economic threshold: Two or more larvae per row foot.

Similar Pests

Ask an Agronomist