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Rahmlow, H. J. (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. XXX (September 1939/July-August 1940)

Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 30, no. 9: May, 1940,   pp. [241]-272

Page 269

How To Control Cutworms 
                               E. L. Chambers 
P RACTICALLY all field and 
   garden crops are subject to 
the attack of cutworms. The type 
of injury caused by these insects 
varies considerably with the spe- 
cies responsible for the darnage. 
Usually, these pests while feeding 
at the g: ound level cut through 
the stem of the plant and cause 
it to fall over and eventually (lie. 
Climbing cutworins ascend the 
host plant and feed on the foliage. 
while other species restrict their 
attack to the root system. 
  Most cutworms are nocturnal 
in habit, hiding in the soil by lday 
and emerging in the evening to 
feed upon their favorite hosts. 
although they may be active on 
warm cloudy clays. Cutworms are 
dull-colored, usually greasy look- 
ing, fleshy  caterpillars which 
show a tendency to curl their 
body into a tight curl when dis- 
turbed. The hairless caterpillars 
vary in length when full grown 
from 1Y2 to two inches. The win- 
ter is passed in different stages, 
varying with the species, but uSU- 
ally either as eggs attached to 
trash and plant remnants, or as 
partly developed larvae. To de- 
stroy these eggs and some hiber- 
nating larvae, all weeds and re- 
fuse along the margin of the 
garden should be burned. Fall 
p)lowing will also prove beneficial 
if it is done as soon as the crops 
are harvested. 
        Use Poison Bait 
  Poison bait, however, is the 
most effective remedy nowv in 
use. This is prepared as follows: 
Bran-3 lbs.; Paris Green-l oz.; 
Blackstrap molasses - 1/2 cup; 
water-about 3 pints, to moisten 
the bran. Avoid soaking the bran 
so that it can be spread easily 
;1nd( apply very thinly at the rate 
   a handful to about fifty square 
feet of area. For best results, ap- 
ply in the evening. 
  With   some species of cut- 
worms, it has been found pos- 
sible to predict the irregular and 
very serious outbreaks by noting 
the number of wet (lays in the 
preceding May and June. If, for 
instance, there are fewer than 
ten days in these two months 
when it is too wet to work in the 
soil, there will be an increase 
and probably an outbreak the fol- 
lowing spring. If there are more 
than fifteen wet days in 1\av and 
June, little trouble may be ex- 
pected from this insect the fol- 
hmwiin, season. 
How to Apply the Lead Arsenate 
L AWNS aii(l gardens can he 
   1protected against injury from 
white grubs by the use of a mix- 
ture consisting of arsenate 
of lead and sand. The treat- 
ment consists in broadcasting five 
p)ounds( of ordinary dry, powder- 
ed arsenate of lead, mixed thor- 
oughly with a bushel of slightly 
moistened sand over each thous- 
and square feet of sod to be pro- 
tected. If this dressing can be ap- 
plied before the grass is grown 
and at a time when the poison can 
be raked down into the soil to a 
depth of about half an inch, the 
iesults are even more satisfac- 
tory. However, the mere broa l- 
casting of this poison on the suir- 
face of the turf, from whence it 
may be washed down into the 
top layer of soil, has been found 
  White grubs feed normally on 
the roots of grass just below the 
surface of the ground. When lead 
arsenate is applied on the 
surface and a II o w e d to be 
washed down e i t h e r by rain 
or with the hose it does not in- 
jure the grass and the grubs, 
when feeding, swallow with their 
diet of hairy roots sufficient quan- 
tities of this arsenical poison to 
kill them. This treatment once 
applied will remain effective over 
a period of three or four years. 
Mowing, watering and other cus- 
tomary operations may be con- 
tinned as usual on the treated 
lawn. (Do not apply fertilizer 
containing nitrate of soda, sut)er- 
phosphate, suilphite of potash, or 
potassium   chloride, commonly 
known as kainit). These chemi- 
cals all icact wvith lead arsenate 
and reduce its grub l)proofing ca- 
lacity. \side from these mater- 
ials, practically any of the ordi- 
nary fertilizers, such as well rot- 
ted manure, amnonium sulphate, 
cotton seed meal, synthetic urea, 
and activated sludge may be used. 
  Flower and vegetable gardens, 
shrubbery borders, etc.. should 
not be treated with lead arsenate 
after being planted as it may in- 
jure certain of these. 
  iPlanting a few hills of corn at 
various points about the garden 
and treating the soil about them 
will be found effective in attract- 
ing the grubs and p1o iso n in g 
  Lawns treated with this mix- 
ture show a marked reduction in 
numbers of weeds since most of 
these including crab grass, chick- 
weed, dandelion, sour dock, etc., 
do not thrive in poisoned soil. 
They are stunted in their growth 
and the p)ercentage of the ger- 
mination of weed seed is very 
  James: "Papa, I ain't got no 
  'al)pa  "John, correct your 
  John (looking over into James' 
plate) : "Yes, you is." 
,ifay, 1940 

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