Dingy cutworm. Photo courtesy of Downtowngal. Licensed under
CC BY-SA 3.0
Dingy Cutworms are one of several cutworm species which can be a singificant pest of corn, soybeans, grains, and other crops. Cutworms get their name from their practice of chewing on seedlings at the soil surface, cutting the plant off at its base.
As its name implies, dingy cutworms have a dirty tan or brown appearance with light colored bumps on each body segment. During the day, late instar larvae will be found in the soil.
Adult moths are large (up to 1.5" wingspan) and have brightly striped wings. There is a distinct lighter kidney bean shape near the back of the wings.
Dingy cutworm moth. Photo courtesy of Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren. Licensed under
CC BY 2.0
Dingy cutworms are primarily leaf feeders and rarely cut corn. In sufficient numbers and in an otherwise stressed enviornment this leaf feeding can cause yield loss.
Insecticides can be used to treat dingy cutworms, although they rarely make economic sense. Always read and follow all label instructions.