The Q&A Archives: Insects

Question: I have planted by peppers, tomatoes and melons outdoors in the garden. Everything was going fine and I noticed this morning that something snapped the tops off of all of my peppers and a couple of my cantalope plants. What is doing this and how do I prevent it?

Answer: If your plants were cut off at the soil line, they probably fell victim to cutworms. These critters encircle the stems of plants and eat right through them. If you place collars around the stems of your plants (cut pieces of cardboard from the papertowel roll to put around each plant), or if you drive a small stick into the ground, about a 1/4" inch away from the stem of each plant, cutworms won't be able to wrap around the stem and chew through it.

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