How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Beet Armyworm

Scientific Name: Spodoptera exigua

(Reviewed 2/17, updated 2/17)

In this Guideline:

Description of the Pest (View caterpillar ID key)

Larvae of the beet armyworm are smoothed-skinned, dull green caterpillars with many fine, wavy, light-colored stripes down the back and a broader stripe along each side. They usually, but not always, have a dark spot on the side of the thorax above the second true leg. The adult is a small, mottled gray or dusky-winged moth. Females lay pale greenish or pinkish striated eggs in masses that are covered with white, cottony material.


Beet armyworm is occasionally found on citrus feeding on foliage, but it rarely causes economic damage.


As a minor pest of citrus, beet armyworm is rarely sprayed, in part because of natural enemies such as Hyposoter exiguae.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Citrus
UC ANR Publication 3441

Insects, Mites, and Snails

E. E. Grafton-Cardwell, Lindcove Research and Extension Center, Exeter and Entomology, UC Riverside
J. G. Morse, Entomology, UC Riverside
D. R. Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County and UC IPM Program
B. A. Faber, UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties

Acknowledgments for contributions to Insect, Mite, and Snails:
J. Barcinas, E.S.I., Corona, CA
R. Dunn, Badger Farming Co., Exeter, CA
J. Gorden, Pest Management Associates, Exeter, CA
C. E. Kallsen, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County
D. Machlitt, Consulting Entomology Services, Moorpark, CA
C. Musgrove, retired entomologist, Riverside, CA
K. Olsen, S & J Ranch, Pinedale, CA
N. V. O'Connell, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
P. A. Phillips, UC IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County
T. Roberts, E.S.I., Corona, CA
T. Shea, UC Cooperative Extension, Riverside County
J. Stewart, Pest Management Associates, Exeter, CA
P. Washburn, Washburn & Sons Citrus Pest Control, Riverside, CA

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