Something getting after our seedlings?!

  • Something getting after our seedlings?!

    Posted by CB79 on March 5, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Can’t figure out…what pest would do this damage and not leave anything behind? Even a few starts under the plastic dome were clipped (there are openings on the top). The only critters we’ve seen are very small flying bugs but those are stuck on that yellow trap and we haven’t seen more flying around yet, something is still getting after these starts. You’ll recognize kale, pepper and tomato seedlings are being attacked? The location for thee starts is in our basement.

    Any thoughts on what is doing the damage and how we can remedy the situation?

    Many thanks for any help with this one!

    TeeDee replied 1 year, 3 months ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • DeepSouthBamaGRITS

    March 5, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    Sounds like cutworms that are in the larvae stage of a caterpillar. The caterpillar lay eggs in soil in winter & the larvae hatch in spring. They live in the soil & are nocturnal feeders. They will either cut the seedling close to soil level or can crawl up the stems. Most will eat what they cut off or take it to their tunnel just under soil. You can make collars of foil, cardboard, even use toilet paper roll cardboard & put down into the soil around your seedlings. You can check for cutworms at night with a flashlight and see if you find them around your seedlings. They will curl up when touched.
    Also could be earwigs (they hide in basements), rolly pollies or slugs. They all are nocturnal feeders and hide in the soil during the day.

  • jeffR

    March 14, 2023 at 1:54 am

    I’ve had mice do that. Put it couple traps out with peanut butter see if you catch some and solve the problem.

  • TeeDee

    March 14, 2023 at 2:23 am

    Since it’s happening in the basement and judging by the way the leaves are clipped off, my guess would be you have a mouse that enjoys fresh greens. Set yourself up a bucket trap near there and see if you find any swimmers in the morning. You can also try sprinkling some cayenne pepper on and around the seedlings as a deterrent. It won’t hurt the plants but the critters don’t like it.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  TeeDee.

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