[gardeners] cutworms

margaret lauterbach (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 08 Mar 1999 09:04:33 -0700

Okay, let's go back to garden fundamentals.  How do you foil cutworms?
Many people put a nail or a toothpick adjacent to the stem of a seedling,
and claim that deters cutworms.  I've always wondered about this because it
would require the cutworm circling the seedling to see if there was
something that would prevent his chewing all the way through the stem.  I
talked to Dr. Bob Stoltz, Extension entomologist in Twin Falls, Idaho, last
week about this, and he said to the best of his knowledge, that was not
indicative of cutworm behavior.  He thought people who deterred cutworms
with the use of toothpicks or nails had just been lucky.  

You can't use toilet paper rolls because a)you'd risk trapping the cutworm
inside the roll, and b)they deteriorate quickly anyway.  Paper cups would
trap cutworms inside, too.  

I have split sections of drinking straw and fastened those around seedling
stems, but it's difficult to do that without injuring the seedling.  So I'm
interested in what the rest of you gardeners do about cutworms.  Margaret L