Cutworm, the caterpillar of any of several species of owlet moth. Cutworms are a major agricultural pest, feeding on crops such as corn, beans, and tomatoes. Cutworms are named for the habit of some species to cut off shoots near the ground.
Cutworms rest in the soil during the day and feed at night. Some species may feed on stems, leaves, or roots. Others bore into the interior of the plant to feed; still others feed from the outside of the plant.
Cutworms are dull-colored and one to two inches (2.5 to S cm) long. Methods of control include the use of chemical poisons and the release of insects or bacteria that kill the caterpillars or destroy the eggs.
Cutworms belong to the family Noctuidae of the order Lepidoptera. Common genera include Agrotis, Euxoa, and Peridroma.