Cutworms attack many field crops and ornamental plants. They sever young plant stems near the surface of the ground. Some climbing cutworms attack the leaves of older plants.
Adults have mottled brown forewings and light gray hind wings. Black cutworm larvae are "greasy" in appearance with a pale dorsal band and pairs of small black spots on each adominal segment. Variegated cutworm larvae are mottled gray or brown with a row of pale yellow spots along the mid-dorsal line.