Young plants are chewed or cut off near the ground. Gray, brown, or black worms, 11/2 to 2 inches long, may be found about 2 inches deep in the soil near the base of the damaged plants. The worms coil when disturbed.
Destroy any cutworms found hiding in the soil. Turn the soil over thoroughly in late summer and fall to expose and destroy eggs, larvae, and pupae. Reduce damage further by putting a cutworm collar around the stem of each plant. Apply an insecticide labeled for this pest, following label directions.