Description: Gray or brown caterpillar curls up when disturbed;
rarely seen during the day; 1-2" long, fat body. Black
and variegated cutworms are the most destructive and
widespread. They eat all garden vegetables, especially
tender young seedlings and transplants. While some cutworms
eat leaves, the telltale sign of their presence is a
plant which has been "sawed off" near the soil surface.
Usually the top part of the plant is left untouched,
lying by the chewed-off stem.
Solution: Grub-Away Nematodes are very effective,
since cutworms emerge from the soil and usually return
there during daylight hours. Apply when transplants
are set out: about 50,000 per plant. Trichogramma kill the eggs. Bt ssp. kurstaki kills cutworms,
but often damage is done before Bt can be applied. Spraying
transplants with Neem-AwayTM Insect
Spray will also reduce damage.