Salo, C. 2018. Army cutworm outbreak produced cheatgrass “die-offs” and defoliated shrubs in southwest Idaho, 2014. Rangelands 40(4):99-105. Contact me for a copy of the article for research or education.
This study predicted an army cutworm outbreak and monitored vegetation damage and subsequent recovery at four sites. These outbreaks seem to occur during extended drought, when late summer or early fall rains germinate winter annuals for the larvae to eat and dry winter weather allows many larvae to survive. I also outline a simple method for identifying die-offs to prioritize them for reseeding with desirable species.
Salo, C. 2017. Army cutworms (Euxoa auxiliaris) consume winter annual plants and shrub foliage. Society for Range Management Annual Meeting, Jan. 29–Feb. 2, 2017, St. George, UT.
Conditions similar to those before the 2003 army cutworm outbreak occurred in southwest Idaho in 2014. The larvae ate winter annuals and shrub foliage in low, dry areas of the Snake River Plain.
Salo, C. 2011. The cheatgrass that wasn’t there. Land Lines column in Rangelands, June 2011, pp 60-62.
Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) failed to appear in large patches across the Intermountain West in 2003. Were army cutworms responsible?
Salo and Zielinkski. 2004. Cheatgrass-dieoffs: of drought, cutworms, and bears? Research poster at Society for Range Management Annual Meeting, Jan. 24–30, Salt Lake City, UT.
Did army cutworms create cheatgrass die-offs in 2003?