Proper identification of cutworms and armyworms can be difficult. Most of them hide in the soil during the day and are hard to find. The identifying characteristics mentioned here may not be as prevalent on younger specimens.

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Consult the table below to help distinguish between winter cutworm (Noctua pronuba), variegated cutworm (Peridroma saucia), and true armyworm (Mythimna unipuncta). It is possible that growers and gardeners might encounter any or all of these species (as larvae) year round in the PNW.



Ian Maton Nature Photography: Moths of Calgary and Southern Alberta &emdash; 10223 Nutmeg (Anarta trifolii)
The Nutmeg moth ((Anarta trifolii)) PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Maton
Ian Maton Nature Photography: Moths of Calgary and Southern Alberta &emdash; 10428 Olive Green Cutworm (Dargida procincta)
Olive Green Cutworm moth ((Dargida procincta)) PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Maton

All photos used with permission.

Green, J., et al. Winter cutworm: a new pest threat in Oregon. 2016. EM9139: p. 12.
Peters, A. and G.Fisher. Armyworms in grass pastures and corn in western Oregon. 2006, OSU Extension. p. 4.
Floate, K.D., Cutworm pests of crops on the Canadian Prairies. 2017, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada: Lethbridge, Canada.
Zuefle, M., Sweet corn larval pest identification. 2018, New York State IPM Program: Cornell University. p. 3.
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