Photo Credit: Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
Variegated cutworm Peridroma saucia
Size: Up to 2 inches long
Where/When: Feeds on a wide range of vegetables, including asparagus, bean, carrot, celery, corn, cucumber, lettuce, pea, pepper, potato, radish, and tomato. They are also known to attack fruit trees, such as apple and cherry, and ornamental plants, such as hostas. Active from May through August or September.
Significance: Plants, especially seedlings, are damaged and usually killed when they are cut at or slightly above or below the soil line. Most damage in gardens occurs during spring. They also climb plants and can feed on leaves, buds and fruit.