Hostas in garden bed
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The Best Way To Prevent Cutworms From Destroying Your Hostas
Hostas attract bees and hummingbirds to your yard, but they also draw in cutworms that eat through the foliage, leaving plants in tatters. Keep your hostas safe with these tips.
Cutworms are nocturnal hairless moth larvae that can chew through new growth and cut holes around mature leaf veins. Variegated (climbing) cutworms are the most common culprits.
Handpick any climbing cutworms from the plant’s base and dunk them in soapy water. Use a rake to break up soil around a wilted plant to look for root-feeding glassy cutworms.
To shield hostas from maturing worms, wrap them in aluminum foil or cardboard. Alternatively, place a 3-inch-wide collar made from plastic or a toilet paper roll around them.
Bait the worms with a ½ teaspoon of bran or cornmeal by placing it away from the plants. Diatomaceous earth works well and will kill them, but may also harm beneficial pollinators.
If natural methods fail, sprinkle permethrin-, cyfluthrin-, or carbaryl-containing pesticides in the late evening around the hostas’ foliage and shoots, per the label instructions.
Stop a full-blown infestation before it can start by removing weeds, plant residue, ground cover, soil debris, and dead foliage that adult moths lay their egg clusters in.
Tilling the garden at least 6 to 8 inches deep can also eliminate the issue. Follow up with another round of shallow tilling at the start of fall cultivation to unearth pupae.