1.Cicada Killer Bees 2. Cutworm prevention

Asked September 13, 2019, 4:01 PM EDT

1. I have googled information about cicada killer bees. I am not concerned about the bees themselves but am trying to find out what to put in their hole that would get rid of the bees that may come out of the nest next year. 2. I have a raised bed garden and had an unusually high amount of cutworms and some 1" or so brown worms on my tomato plants this year. I just tried to locate the worms and dispose of them as I noticed problems but damage to the plants and tomatoes were excessive this year. Is there anything I can do to the soil to prevent this from happening next year?

Carroll County Maryland vegetables pest control cutworms cicada killer wasp

1 Response

Cicada killers are beneficial in that they keep the cicada population down. There are no easy control solutions. Modify the habitat and make the area unattractive to burrowing. In lawns, thicken your stand of turf by overseeding in the fall. Run a sprinkler in the nesting area over a period of time to saturate the ground during the day while the wasps are active. They do not like water and may lessen activity temporarily. Reduce exposed soil in ornamental beds by planting groundcovers and applying mulch. In new beds pin down landscape fabric with landscape pins and cover with mulch. Limit bare ground. Here is more information about them on our website. See the publication below.
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/cicada-killer-wasps-lawns
http://extension.umd.edu/ipm/cicada-killer

Many gardeners have observed relatively high levels of caterpillar feeding possibly climbing cutworms or tomato fruit worm (corn earworm).
In spring or fall, till soil to disrupt possible overwintering sites, exposing pests to predators and freezing temperatures.
Organic insecticides for controlling caterpillars, such as Bt and spinosad, or diatomaceous earth (DE) can control caterpillars but must be applied before caterpillars start feeding on fruits. Pick up and dispose of infested fruits to prevent these pests from reaching the soil to pupate. Next year, you can consider buying and using insect screening material (different from floating row covers) that can cover and exclude most insect pests without heat build-up around the plants.
Here are our pages for Prevention and control
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cutworm-vegetables
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/corn-earworm-vegetables

Marian