How to treat cutworms in the vegetable garden

These large hairless caterpillars, that are Gray, brown or black will chew on young plants, frequently severing the stems off near the ground. Surface feeding Cutworms can affect young veggie plants like tomatoes, peppers, beans, pea plants, along with all varieties of cabbages. 

Climbing Cutworms can affect grapes, tomatoes, blueberries, or any other vegetable crops that has tender young foliage. They climb the main stalk or trunk and feed on the leaves, buds or fruit. Cutworms spend their days in the soil, emerging at night to feed above ground.  The adult is a dark, night-flying moth that feeds on the flower nectar, often found fluttering around garden lights at night.  

Cultivating the garden in late summer, early fall after harvesting and removing plants will help kill eggs and larvae. Employ a cutworm collar (easily made from a milk carton, plastic tubs or tin cans, by removing both ends, creating a tube) around the base of the young seedling helps. 

Firmly plant the collar around the young seedling, pressing into the ground. Dusting around the base of susceptible plants with a dry powder formula insecticide will also help.