My little garden has been growing like mad, but now the cut worms and other creatures are making a mess of it.
I’ve seen black worms eating leaves, and they are not picky which plant they attack. These are the cutworms – pictures below. Cutworms can also nip a new seedling at the base and kill the entire plant, but these are concentrating on the leaves.
It turns out getting rid of the cutworm is easier than getting rid of the other pest, the pill bug. I can pick the worms off the plants. The large ones are fairly easy to spot, and my garden is small. I plopped them into my tray bird feeder and the cardinals came and had a meal!
My other problem is all the tiny bugs, which I believe are Pill Bugs. They are everywhere from huddled along the wooden sides of the raised bed, to deep down under the soil. And I’ve found them munching on my cucumbers too.
At first I thought these were a form of the cutworm. These bugs range from tiny to fingernail size. I thought they were harmless, but have found them eating the vegetables, so they need to go.
As I was inspecting the garden, I found colonies of the pill bug along the edges of the garden. Too many to pick off. And as I dig, I find more underground!
I’m always looking for organic, natural ways to deter destructive bugs because I don’t use harmful sprays in my yard.
I read that the cutworm will eat corn meal and that will kill it. I’m hesitant to use cornmeal because of the raccoons that visit my yard each night. I don’t want them digging through my garden because they smell corn!
One site suggested using Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. I just happened to have some of that! It’s made of crushed fossils which cut open bug that crawl across it which causes them to die. I sprinkled it over the dirt in my garden paying attention to the edges.
Besides these two destructive pests, I’ve got worms boring into my cucumbers and summer squash. While I was outside dealing with these bugs, an orange wasp (it’s really a moth, but looks like a big bee) was buzzing around my garden. Come to find out it is a squash vine borer moth looking to lay it’s eggs in my garden! The link has a photo of what those eggs look like.
The link above will give you lots of info about how to prevent the borer moth from laying it’s eggs all over the vegetables.
One idea is to use a Floating row cover. If the moth can’t get to the crops, it can’t lay the eggs.
Another suggestion which I found to be a simple try is to place a yellow bowl of water in the garden to attract the moth and drown it.