Cutworms and bulbs

Bracey Tiede
Sun, 20 Mar 2016 15:47:14 PDT

Perhaps this link will help with local IPM information on cutworms and their

San Jose CA

-----Original Message-----
From: pbs [] On Behalf Of Jane McGary
Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2016 2:59 PM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] Cutworms and bulbs

I recently discovered that the damage to some of my bulbs that I had 
ascribed to slugs is actually being done by cutworms (moth larvae). The 
latter pests were not present in my former garden so I didn't recognize 
the problem immediately. I have now sprayed the foliage of the plants 
they seem to prefer (Fritillaria and Tulipa, especially) with a Bt 
product, Thuricide, a specific for caterpillars. (Lepidoptera fans, 
please no hisses: the plants in question are inside a greenhouse.)

Now I wonder if there is a way to destroy cutworms early in the season, 
when they might attack emerging stems as I think they have done here. 
Could one spray the Bt product on some expendable leaves and put them 
out to attract the caterpillars? What would be good bait? I haven't seen 
them attack anything in the vegetable garden or in the open garden, 
except for a Disporum. Near the subject Disporum there are large patches 
of Disporopsis pernyi, but those are not attacked, so they would be 
useless as bait foliage.

I also bought some Sluggo Plus, an iron phosphate slug bait that 
includes spinosib, a specific for caterpillars; I'm told it is another 
bacterial byproduct. However, I don't know if the cutworms will actually 
eat the pellets when lush foliage and flower buds are available.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

More information about the pbs mailing list