Answer: Based on your description I am not able to identify the worms specifically. The most common pests of basil would not include worms or caterpillars except for cutworms, but cutworms would be cutting through the stem down near the ground, not eating the foliage. So I do not think it is cutworms. If they are truly caterpillars, you can control them with Bacillus thuringiensis (in products such as Dipel, Biotrol, Thuricide.) Be sure to read and carefully follow the label directions. Alternatively you could continue to hand pick them. Good luck with your basil!
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