The Q&A Archives: Organic Remedy For Cutworms

Question: I read some of your solutions to cutworms. I've hand-picked hundreds and used BTK, but still lost lots of prize tulips, clemetis, and much, much more. Could you please tell me the recipe for the molasses and BTK mix and could you please list and rank all organic remedies for these nasty critters. Thanks much.

Answer: Cutworms can cause all kinds of problems in a garden so if you see any, pick them up and destroy them. You can protect new transplants by placing a cardboard collar around the stem of the plant. Just take an emply papertowel roll and cut it into 4 inch tall cylinders. Cut one side so you can open it to place around the stem, and sink the collar into the soil about an inch. The collar will prevent the cutworms from circling the stem and chewing through it. You can make scatter baits made of bran, molasses and BTK (Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki) into the soil to kill the cutworms if collars aren't enough to protect your new plants. (I don't measure - just mix BTK and bran together and moisten it with enough molasses to make it all stick together.)

The following website, from University of California at Davis, has lots of information on biocontrols for cutworms:

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