It's that time of year again when the black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon) larvae begin to show up on bentgrass greens and fairways. For us at the research station, it is normally about field day time that they become a problem. They were right on time this year.
They are a little hard to see, but there are about 50 birds on bentgrass area below at the research station. Birds feed on the larvae and are a good sign that there is a problem.
They are surface feeders and they can easily be controlled with most common insecticides. We used Sevin (Carbaryl). It was very effective.
A close look at the surface will reveal a lot of feeding holes. They are often empty because of the feeding of birds
There will also likely be some larvae on the surface, like the one below sighted on August one at the research station.
This is a picture of the adult. This is from the Purdue web site. Notice the dagger shaped black mark on each wing.
Armyworms can also be a problem at this time of year, but this year it was black cutworm at the research station.