The Q&A Archives: Pest Control

Question: Something is killing my plants from underground? The leaves are not being eaten, but I can see where the stem has been chewed on. And then the plant dies. I noticed this mostly on my Black Eyed Susans. What should I do?

Answer: The probable critters destroying your plants are cutworms. They encircle the stems of plants and feed, eventually cutting the stem in two. You can protect your plants from cutworms by putting a barrier around the stem to keep the worms from encircling the stem and chewing through it. Place small sticks close to the stems of the plants to keep the worms from circling around them, or place pieces of papertowel tube around each plant. Just cut the cardboard into 4" inch lengths, place one cardboard tube around each plant, burying it about an inch into the soil. The cutworms won't be able to wrap themselves around the stem of the plant!

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