Insects: Cutworm guide, DBM monitoring

Cutworm Guide. AAFC has published a new cutworm guide, available as a free download, with descriptions of all pest cutworms in Canada as well as helpful management tips, including this excerpt from the scouting section:

“It is important to confirm the presence and identity of cutworms before deciding on a course of action. For example, damping-off disease can cause wilting in seedlings that may be mistaken for cutworm damage. To confirm the presence of cutworms, carefully search the top 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in.) of soil around the base of severed plants at the end of within-row gaps or around the base of healthy plants at the end of these gaps. Also search the soil at the base of healthy plants remaining in the middle of bare patches or around the edge of the bare patch. To look for cutworms between rows with feeding damage, carefully remove plant residue and soil clumps. Large numbers of seagulls or other birds may be attracted to fields when cutworms are abundant (p. 21). When large flocks are observed, closer examination of the field to assess cutworm numbers may be warranted.”

Go direct to the guide here or start here and follow the links.

Diamondback moth monitoring. Monitoring goes from early May to mid June. Alberta’s map will be live next week and it can be found here. Cooperators, please register your sites as soon as possible.  

The Prairie Pest Monitoring Network Weekly Update (see below) includes wind trajectories updates, which serve to aid diamondback moth (DBM) monitoring. Forward wind trajectories help predict potential arrival events of DBM from south of the 49th Parallel. Because DBM normally cannot overwinter on the Prairies, the wind trajectories — the movement of high altitude air masses northward into Canada — can help predict their arrival early in the spring. In fact, arrival dates of DBM (confirmed by pheromone trapping data) serve as starting points from which researchers can predict the number of DBM generations across sentinel sites on the Canadian prairies.

Prairie Pest Monitoring Network’s Blog features an Insect of the Week during the growing season. The month of May will focus on cutworms and the May 1st Post highlights pale western cutworms. Find the blog and subscribe at