Bug Scout 1980
Scout for Cutworm
(Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University)
I didn't think it was cutworm damage!
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May 3, 1980

Will the soil insecticides used in corn production control cutworms?  Depends on who answers the question.  Most Midwest university entomologists rate cutworm control provided by currently used soil insecticides as mediocre to poor.  Manufacturers of some insecticides tell a different story.

Product labels claiming cutworm control for three insecticides used at planting time read:  "will control moderate to low infestations of cutworms,"  for "cutworm suppression," and "will aid in the control of black cutworms."  These label claims reflect the inconsistent level of control provided.

As a general rule, the best cutworm management programs are based on scouting fields with timely application of insecticides when cutworms appear.

Complete confidence in insecticides applied at planting to prevent cutworm damage to corn is a bit risky.  It's a little like leaving a fox to guard the chicken coop.  You just can't depend on it.    

by Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University

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