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Peter
Dear Garden Expert, have some new garden beds which have insect activity at night just under the surface of the soil which loosens the surface. Either seedling roots are being eaten or disturbed and eventually die. Need Help please !!! Pete

Have also had lots of insect problems especially with corn having the top eaten right off. Am located on the NSW Northern Rivers.

Submitted: 04:20PM, 22 Mar 2010
Answer: Dear Peter,
Cutworms can be a problem with young seedlings as the larvae chew through the plant stems near ground level causing the plant to fall over.

You can protect your seedling from this pest by pushing a sturdy plastic drinking cup with the bottom removed into the soil around it, leaving about 60 mm above ground level. Once the seedling are bigger in size, the cutworms don’t seem to bother them.

Regarding the corn cobs, the pest that attacks this crop is called the corn earworm. The larvae invades and damages the ends of the cobs. You will be able to see the caterpillar moving inside the sheath. At this point it is difficult to control this pest. The only other pest that could be eating the top of the cob is either rats or possums. You may need to net the crop to give some protection.

Category: Pests
Tags: pest, cutworms
Answered: 01:24PM, 08 Apr 2010

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