Pale Western Cutworm

Agrotis orthogonia

Adult moths emerge from the soil in late summer and fall. They are light gray in color with indefinite markings and a wingspan of about 1 1/4 inches. Eggs are deposited in loose, dry, sandy or dusty soil. Thus, larvae are usually found most easily in the driest parts of the field, such as hilltops. Eggs usually hatch in very early spring and larval damage often becomes noticeable about the time the wheat begins to joint in March or April. The pale western cutworm is a subterranean cutworm, feeding on the stems of the crown just below the soil level. Feeding results in severed stems and entire fields may be lost in a matter of days.

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