Gray or brown caterpillar curls up when disturbed; rarely seen during the day; 1-2" long, fat body. Black and variegated cutworms are the most destructive and widespread. They eat all garden vegetables, especially tender young seedlings and transplants. While some cutworms eat leaves, the telltale sign of their presence is a plant which has been "sawed off" near the soil surface. Usually the top part of the plant is left untouched, lying by the chewed-off stem.
Grub-Away Nematodes North or Grub-Away Nematodes South are very effective, since cutworms emerge from the soil and usually return there during daylight hours. Apply when transplants are set out: about 50,000 per plant. Trichogramma kill the eggs. Another option: apply Green Step Caterpillar Control at the first sighting of cutworms.