Bugs Only Eating The Stems Of My Plant

Q: What kind of bug would eat a new shoot of a plant grown from seed right at soil level and leave the shoot behind? I’ve had two where it looks like they just clipped it off at the soil but didn’t eat the leaves or stem. 

A: The telltale sign of a cutworm is a seedling stem that has been clipped off close to the soil surface. Usually, the top part of the plant is left untouched, lying by the chewed-off stem. Cutworms eat all garden vegetables and they like flowers, as well. Cutworms especially like tender seedlings and young transplants. Spring plantings suffer the greatest damage. Crows will sometimes walk down a row of newly sowed corn, pulling up the new plants and eating the kernels at the bottom. If you see little pieces of kernel near the holes, it is crow damage as cutworms will not unearth the seeds.

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