Each spring, seedling corn is attacked by a variety of caterpillars. Insect identification is the first step in determining whether there is a potential problem. Two of the most commonly confused insects are black cutworms and dingy cutworms. Black cutworms are less than 0.5 inch in length and feed on leaves, whereas larger larvae can cut or drill plants. Blacks cause almost all cutworm damage to corn. Cutting can occur below the surface when soil is dry, or above ground, when soil is wet and tight around the plant.
Iowa State University
Rice, Marlin E., "Blacks and dingys: confusing cutworms" (2004). Integrated Crop Management News. 1512.
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