I have cutworms coming out of my pavers. How do I get rid of them?
By Orestes from Pembroke Pines, FL
Can anyone help with my problem of cutworms? I have quite a large garden and am looking for a relatively cheap way to get rid of them.
If you have a problem with cutworms in your garden, spray the dirt around the plants with a mixture of 3 Tbsp. Dawn dish soap to 1 gallon of water. The soap solution gets into the cutworms system, and kills them immediately. It works great!
By Eleanor 02/01/2005)
Please tell me, what are cutworms? (02/02/2005)
Cutworms are 1" to 2" long gray caterpillars that live in the soil in the garden. They create problems for gardeners in that they eat (at night) the young plants at ground level, in May and June, usually totally chewing off the stem leaving a plant that is toppled over. We dig around the wilted plant and usually a few inches away find the cutworm, all big and fat (squishing it is the next thing to do for the gardener). The cutworm life cycle...a grey/whitish night flying moth later in summer.
Some years we have problems, some years we don't really see many. But I would rather, here in Manitoba, Canada have cutworms than a lot of the bugs that exist down south....poisonous spiders, poisonous snakes and termites. Our COLD winters would kill most of those pests. The cutworm just hibernates and emerges in the spring to help himself again to my garden. (02/02/2005)
Another solution for cutworms is to just insert, next to the stem of the seedlings, a wooden matchstick or a wooden toothpick. If the seedling has a wide girth, then 2 toothpicks on either side work. I've used this for years and even had this hint published in a book. I always carry a toothpick container out to the garden in the spring. (02/03/2005)
By Roberta in Maine
When you plant the seedlings, tomatoes, etc., wrap the stem with pieces of newspapers, partly below and partly above the ground. By the time the plants have established and the cutworms are gone, the paper decomposes and has saved the plants. (06/15/2005)
We use wood ashes saved from the fireplace and bonfires. (06/16/2005)
You can also use popsicle sticks, placed next to and touching the new plants, or carefully wrap several layers of newspaper (take about a 6 inch square and fold in half twice). Wrap gently around the plant stem, so it's about 1/2 above ground and 1/2 half under ground. Keeps the cut worms from circling and cutting the plant. (06/16/2005)
I use foam cups to keep the worms at bay. I tear out the bottom, slip the top of the cup over the plant and then put the cup and plant in the ground. You only need an inch of the cup in the dirt so adjust to fit. I have used this for 20 years and it still works! (07/07/2005)
I find the best way to get rid of cutworms is to save all your egg shells throughout the winter. Leave in your freezer over the winter. When planting your plants, crush the egg shells and sprinkle the crushed egg shells around the plants just below the surface. What happens? Crawling over the egg shells will cause the cutworms to dehydrate and die. (04/08/2006)
I have heard that inserting a 10-penny nail beside the plant will work just as good as the popsicle stick. If you don't have a long enough nail - cut up wire (like a coat hanger). Leave a little above ground. (05/07/2007)
I have cutworms in my garden, and it is NO laughing/fun matter. I have to struggle every day to keep my plants alive.
One thing is that using pest killers and pesticides kill some cutworms. Just spray before the blossoms and fruits come, or you will have a fruit like the queen's apple in Snow White.
I plant seedlings inside a toilet roll cardboard insert, which I have cut in half across the middle. I plant the seedling inside, leaving a bit above the ground. By the time the plant is too big to be munched, the toilet roll holder has dissolved. Works a treat! (07/16/2008)
By Cathy from Townsville, QLD
I never had cutworms until I moved a few years ago. A friend told me to use Epsom Salts around all my bulb plants as they began to emerge from the soil and several times through the early spring. I don't know if it has killed them but they are leaving my tulips, etc. alone now. The Epsom Salt is really good for my rose bush and seems to "green up" everything too. (01/24/2009)