As with army worms, cut worms leave small, 1- to 2-inch-wide patches of brown grass in newly seeded and established lawns; the plants are eaten off at soil level. They often grow to 2 inches long. The moths are dark and fly at night.

Cut Worm Close Up

What Will Happen To My Lawn?

While they all feed on plants by chewing, generally they destroy more of the plant than they eat. Cut worms cut off young plants at or slightly above or below the soil line, sometimes dropping the severed plants into their burrows. Because most of the plant is not eaten, these cut worms do great damage and attack new plants nightly.

What Can I Do?

Make sure your lawn is getting enough water. A properly watered lawn will resist or, at least, minimize, the damage from an insect infestation of any kind. Sometimes an insecticide will be necessary to achieve complete control. Most local hardware stores carry insecticides that will control cut worms. Be sure to read the label and apply according to the directions. Depending on the severity of the damage, more than one insecticide application may be required for complete control. Lawns with severe turf loss may need to be repaired with seed or sod.

How Can Natural Way Help?

We have certified professionals who are used to dealing with insect damage and other problems. Natural Way can treat your lawn with an insecticide that will control cut worm activity and prevent any more damage from happening.

Cut Worm Moth

Photo of an adult Cut Worm on Kentucky Bluegrass – credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,