These caterpillars have plenty of natural enemies that can keep them at bay. These include spiders, frogs, parasitic wasps and flies, small mammals like rodents, and birds.
Cutworms are hosts for numerous parasitoid wasps and flies, including species of Braconidae, Ichneumonidae, Tachinidae and Eulophidae.
Cutworms favour overgrown areas where there is lots of coverage, so if you have a treasured plant and vegetable patch, you should keep these tidy. This will make the area unattractive to cutworm moths.
By keeping vegetable plots well-watered, you make the environment unfavourable to cutworms.
When cultivating food crops, you may expose a pupa or caterpillar. These should be relocated (somewhere the birds can see them!).
When infestations seem heavy, you can pick them off your plants by hand, which is best done at night.
Diatomaceous earth can be used as a barrier against these pests, sprinkle over foliage and soil surrounding the stems.
Fleece and insect-proof mesh placed above vegetable patches have been proven to make infestations less frequent.
Likewise, plastic coverings for seedlings are encouraged.
Cutworms hide beneath topsoil during the day. You can water bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis into the soil, which will kill the caterpillars.
Alternatively (if suitable), beneficial nematodes can be purchased from some commercial retailers. Watering these into the soil should eliminate cutworms in the soil. Soil temperatures need to be between 12-20ºC for the treatment to be effective.
Always take care to research products to make sure they are the right solution to your problem! Always read instructions prior to application.