The Problem

Porina Caterpillar

Porina caterpillars feed on lawns and pasture grasses. The adult moth lays its eggs (usually in spring) on the grass and, after hatching, the small caterpillars first take shelter among the leaf bases. As the caterpillars grow larger they begin to dig burrows in the soil. At night they emerge from these to feed on grass leaves. They are at their largest and most damaging in autumn and early winter.

The brown adult moth takes flight at dusk and is particularly attracted to lights, so reducing outdoor lighting in spring will reduce their effects. Keep lawn well fed and in good condition. Mow well in summer to expose young larvae and remove any thatch that may provide the caterpillars with shelter.

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Solutions