The army cutworm is making an appearance in wheat and triticale fields in the far western region of Kansas, said Anthony Zukoff, an entomologist at Kansas State University.

Army cutworms are also commonly known by their adult name, miller moths. Zukoff said adult moths fly from the Rocky Mountains into western Kansas from late summer into fall. The moths spend two months laying eggs in fields, especially freshly cultivated or seeded fields, which begin hatching in spring.

K-State entomologists say that female miller moths can lay up to 1,000 eggs. The cutworm larvae subsist on crop leaves until they grow into adult moths. Farmers can easily spot evidence of cutworms by looking for “windowpane” damage on leaves. The caterpillars will eat a small square portion out of the surface of the leaf, which resembles the shape of a windowpane.

Read more on the Army Cutworm Surge in Western Kansas here.