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Preventive Control

Natural enemies


  1. Braconid
    Snellenius manilae is a small Braconid wasp species. It looks like Cotesia except that it has a triangular closed cell on its front wing and has hairy eyes. This parasitoid wasp is host specific. It only parasitizes cutworm larvae. A female wasp lays 3-5 eggs in a cutworm larva. The parasite eats the body fluids and the larva for its development. Cocoons are formed next to the host's body. Lifecycle takes about 4-8 days. A wasp lives for about 1 week (Reissig; et. al., 1986: pp. 99-109; IRRI, 2001).
  2. Cotesia
  3. Tachinid fly


  1. Ground beetle
  2. Lacewing
  3. Praying mantis
  4. Weaver ant


To monitor for cutworm, count damage and freshly cut leaves, freshly cut young plants, and holes in leaves and in stems. Economic threshold level is 2-4% plants cut below the ground or 6-8% plants cut above the soil surface (University of Nebraska, 2001). Widely accepted threshold are 2, 3, 5, and 7 cut plants per 100 plants during seedling stage (Tooker, 2009)

Management and cultural practices

  1. Removal of weeds in and around fields will reduce egg-laying sites and will help in the prevention of cutworm infestation. Do this at least 2-3 weeks before planting to reduce the incidence of cutworm larvae transferring to newly planted crops.
  2. Plow and harrow fields properly before planting. This will destroy eggs and expose larvae to chicken, ants, birds, and other predators.
  3. In rice fields, keep area flooded. This will prevent cutworm population.
  4. Plant corn, alfalfa, or beans after rice. This will provide rich fauna for beneficial insect species which will control cutworm build-up.
  5. Interplant main crops with onion, garlic, peppermint, coriander, or garlic every 10-20 rows to repel cutworms. Sunflowers and cosmos can also be planted as a trap crop in or around fields (Garden Guides, 2001).
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