What Are Cutworms?
The larvae of certain moth groups are referred to as “cutworms.” Cutworms cause far more havoc in the garden early season, once they appear and feast on plants. Cutworms are caterpillars, however, they are sometimes confused with beetle grubs like Japanese beetles (things are harmful in their way). I’ll show you how to get rid of cutworms organically in this post.
Since they eat at nighttime, they might be difficult to be rid of owing to their ability to conceal. Cutworms reproduce fast when mature moths produce eggs. If allowed to continue, they will persist to munch on seedlings, inflicting considerable damage. Where there has been considerable damage, full areas might be stripped bear with time.
Also during the summer season (July), adult cutworms crawl deep into the ground and construct a pupal cave. Mature moths may rise from the ground after about a month. This normally occurs between August and September.
With dedication as well as care, one could limit the cutworm number. Because cutworms are hard to entirely eradicate, you can just diminish their population without obtaining expert assistance. Nevertheless, it will reduce the harm they cause and retain your plants alive.
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Damage caused by cutworms
Cutworms are adaptable eaters that may feed on a variety of plants. Asparagus, cabbage, beans, as well as other carrots, peppers, crucifers, potatoes, celery, lettuce, peas, maize, as well as tomatoes are some of the vegetables they enjoy eating. Turfgrass is a food source for several species.
Cutworms eat by curling their bodies all around stems. The plant gets chopped off somewhere above the ground surface as a result of this eating. The percentage of cutworms discovered varies greatly from year to year. Whenever their populations are large, they can do significant harm to a garden.
- Cutworms such as dark, bronzed, or army cutworms may cause considerable harm by eating and cutting fresh plants every night.
- A variegated cutworm may consume the leaf, bud, as well as fruits of shrubs, trees, vineyards, and garden plants by climbing the stems of shrubs, trees, vines, and garden plants.
- Glassy cutworms, for example, live in soil and feast on the root system and subsurface components.
- Cutworms eat at nighttime and burrow in plant detritus throughout the day.
- Since their roots are much more delicate, new seedlings or immature plants are often more vulnerable to harm.
- Initially in the season as vegetation is little and also has fragile tissues, the harm is by far the most serious.
- Cutworms are persistent all summer however are seldom an issue after the springtime.
- Plants are not harmed by mature moths.
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How to Prevent Cutworms?
To start, clearing any fallen leaves and other plant matter out from your gardening areas is one approach to help minimize cutworms. It is a preferred location for egg-laying, and eliminating this debris is a smart method to help avoid issues from occurring.
However, taking such precautions to prevent the situation is frequently insufficient; they would still appear in your yard, and therefore it makes more sense to do everything you could to mitigate the danger as often as practicable.
How to get rid of cutworms in the garden?
It would be any gardener’s worst miserable experience: you step outdoors the next morning and find that your plantings, which were overflowing with vitality the evening prior, have now been sliced in pieces by cutworms.
Whenever they eat, they tear down small plants and as mentioned above seem to have the potential of devastating a whole field. The great news would be that cutworms could be managed with a few simple techniques that do not need the use of toxic pesticides.
Cutworms can be removed using a variety of methods. Pesticides are a possibility, although they are normally only advised in extreme instances. If you are using pesticides, make sure to thoroughly follow all of the directions to keep both you and the vegetation healthy.
Eliminate all superfluous plant material to avoid cutworms from reaching your yard from the first instance. Clean your garden completely and meticulously, as weeds provide an ideal breeding surface and concealing areas for cutworms. For about the same purpose, composting can be used instead of organic fertilizer or encompass crops
Till your ground before planting, and then again in the autumn. Cutworm larvae reside underneath the earth, which keeps them warm during the winter. Tilling your soil will introduce the pests to the weather, then you’ll have significantly less to cope with than usual.
When you accidentally introduce any cutworms or notice a few in the plant, you may eradicate these manually. Putting up a shield between the vegetation and possible pests also helps. This obstacle might take several forms. Cutworms may be deterred from invading your yard by erecting a barrier of dry dirt around it.
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Steps to Get Rid of Cutworms?
Here are several methods for getting rid of and preventing cutworms.
#1 They can be manually removed
The far more specific method, and one which functions. Make use of your hands. Wear a pair of gardening gloves and then get a bottle of dishwashing soap and water. Also, get light and walk out at nighttime to look for cutworms.
Examine your plants’ tips and pluck these by hand, tossing these inside the container. They’re fast and simple to capture. They will be drowned and killed by the filthy water. Continue this every evening till you can’t find anything else to drown in.
#2 Make use of coffee grounds
Cutworms, like so many similar creatures including ants as well as cockroaches, detest coffee grounds. To try and prevent and prevent pests, scatter old coffee grounds across the stem of the vegetation.
#3 Make use of eggshells
Eggshells, such as coffee grounds, are organic cutworm repellent. Smash up a few new eggshells and scatter them across your houseplants. They are also a good provider of calcium to garden soil.
Eggshells feature rough points that will sever caterpillars’ fragile underbellies when they traverse these to get over to your vegetation. People prefer eggshells since these are inexpensive and easily accessible, plus eventually disintegrate in the ground, supplying required calcium.
#4 Make your plant collars
You may create collars surrounding the plant’s stems and keep cutworms away from the ground of the vegetation. Bend a section of cardboard together into a “tunnel” that will be looped around every plant stem. It will function as a “barrier” to prevent cutworms from chewing on the stem because they can’t gnaw via the board and therefore have no motivation to.
The collar must form a barrier for all-around plants and have at minimum just a few feet tall, and also go only a few feet into the soil to support it. This sort of barricade helps prevent cutworms as well as other field pests away.
Cutworm collars may be made out of something that will prevent these cutworms at distance. Cardboard is nice since it decomposes, but you’ll have to create extra every year. Plastic bottles can also be used, but the bottoms must be removed.
A further comparable technique necessitates a little extra forethought. To begin, collect cardboard tubes from discarded rolls of toilet paper as well as paper napkins. You may also request that friends and family store these for you.
#5 Replace your mulch
Oak leaves mulch has been found to deter certain users. You may either replace your mulch totally with anything different, or you could just simply collect a large number of oak leaves then produce mulch from them. To safely discourage cutworms, use this mulch surrounding the plants.
#6 Draw predators’ attention
Cutworms are eaten by a variety of predators. Cutworms get eaten by a variety of insects as well as animals. One might attempt to entice some animals to munch these in one’s garden. In this manner, you get “passive” pest management since you are allowing nature to take action.
You could also attract creatures that consume cutworms. Although cutworms love your vegetation, they are indeed a delectable food for animals, fireflies, lightning bugs, as well as spiders. While purchasing firefly larva and spiders to put into your yard is not suggested, you may entice them organically by creating your yard pleasant to them.
Fireflies are among the most frequent insects that consume cutworms. One may try to tempt them inside the yard, however firstly please ensure that they are indigenous to the area. There aren’t fireflies in every place.
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How to kill cutworms naturally?
#1 Make use of Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring material that dehydrates and kills cutworms. You may use DE to create a circle all around the plant stem. It requires any worms to creep well over the DE circle to move up on the plants, ensuring that they will dehydrate with plenty of exposure over the duration
Even though DE is organic and harmless, you must still wear a glove as well as protect pets and children far from that too. The DE would eventually kill the cutworm, however only after considerable harm has indeed been caused to the stem.
One should use DE in conjunction with some other method, like toothpicks and other stakes. DE is useful for large plants, however, for youngsters which have still to grow, a barricade or circle around the stem is required.
#2 Sprays of Soap
Soap sprays, which are highly efficient in eradicating larvae as well as other sap-sucking bugs such as mites, mealybugs, psyllids, leafhoppers, insect pests, thrips, as well as whiteflies, are widely available at gardening stores and online providers.
These are non-toxic and kill the pests merely by covering them with soap, preventing them from respiration. You may even manufacture your mix by combining one tablespoon with liquid soap inside a liter spray bottle — always use a light, all-natural soap to prevent damaging the plants.
#3 Neem Oil
This is a great all-purpose organic pesticide that kills anything from lettuce worms but also squash bugs over the surface to nematodes as well as grubs underneath the surface Neem oil is a deadly derivative of the neem tree, the tropical Asian plant commonly seen in garden stores.
Although it frequently requires frequent applications to be successful, neem has very little impact on important organisms and pests rarely acquire antibodies to it, and so is usual with other chemical pesticides.
Pests will forever be a factor of the picture regardless of how vast or little the region undergrowth. It is rather simple to keep such issues in check so that they do not inflict piles and piles of harm to your plant with awareness and forethought.
Cutworms are a significant issue for gardeners, especially beginning in the blooming season because if left unchecked, they may completely decimate a garden. Understanding how to detect, avoid, and control such pests is essential for a productive garden. Thus, we hope this article gave you an idea on the topic.