Dog helps out... by eating cutworms!


Whyizzit, when the dog decides to help in the garden, it involves eating gross stuff?!

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Just read your newsletter which included a note about cutworms. So I cannot resist telling you about my recent discovery. I'm living in Maine (just a little northwest of Portland)… For the last several weeks my Lab mix dog has been scouring the lawn, sniffing like crazy when I let her out after dark (and only after dark). I would notice her seem to gobble up something every once in a while and go back to sniffing like crazy. (Labs can be a bit obsessive & into eating, as you probably know.) 

Well, I finally managed to get out of her mouth a specimen of what she was after -- CUTWORMS!! YUCK!!! Now, when a bird eats one it's wonderful. But my dog!!! I am now trying to keep her from doing this. - L.P. -

Many dogs eat first, ask questions later.
                      - Janet -


Good luck. However, our experiences with four Labrador Retrievers over 20 years suggests there's no cure. Many dogs eat first, ask questions later. Yet perhaps there's no harm. This isn't one of the insects that protects itself chemically, by giving its predators sick stomachs. Cutworms use hiding as a defense -- burrowing just below the soil by day. As snacks, they're nutritionally sound, too. Our own Labs have had the stomach to get away with habits a lot higher on the gross-meter.


Cutworm: Larva of a moth, nighttime destroyer of seedlings.CutwormN2374s.jpg

We used to wonder what our dogs were after, as they snuffled at the base of the bird feeder. We hoped bird poo was not the object. Nope, it was the seed they were after. Still are after. Here's Kiyo -- that's short for Yippeekiyo and descriptive of her general attitude -- just in and still sporting some millet on her nose (arrow).

KiyoSeedEatrN3140s.jpg KiyoSeeding2662.jpg









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