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cutworms in compost good??

Discussion in 'Composting & Soil Building' started by ecopepper, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Aug 31, 2009
    ecopepper

    ecopepper Chillin' In The Garden

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    I was getting my second batch of compost out to start my fall plantings and found cutworms....There musta been 10...I gave them to the chickens....is this okay to have in compost bin?? My bin is right by raised bed garden....Any ideas??
     
  2. Aug 31, 2009
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    Are you sure they are cutworms? I'm surprised to hear of cutworms in that number in a compost heap unless you have something growing in your compost heap. They need to feed on something in warm weather. I found this article about the life cycle of cutworms that makes interesting reading. I didn't realize there were that many different varieties. The one I'm most familiar with is the greyish-brownish solitary one that I find way too often.

    http://www.uri.edu/ce/factsheets/sheets/cutworms.html

    Since a cutworm will develop into a moth which will lay hundreds of eggs, I think feeding them to the chickens is a great idea.
     
    so lucky likes this.
  3. Aug 31, 2009
    patandchickens

    patandchickens Deeply Rooted

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    I too would be surprised if they were really cutworms -- are you sure they weren't some sort of large grub, like terrestrial cranefly larvae ("leatherjackets") or beetle grubs something like that?

    OTOH I *am* surprised and incorrect from time to time ;), and if that is the case here and they really are cutworms, I would be leery of putting that compost on a garden that will host seeds or seedlings (i.e it wouldn't be so bad on a perennial bed or around trees - although frankly I'm not sure I'd want to be farming up the little buggers *anywhere*, just on general principle).

    So I dunno.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  4. Aug 31, 2009
    ecopepper

    ecopepper Chillin' In The Garden

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    I looked at a tomato book that had a picture.........they were biege and had only front legs and the were fat and short...Wish I got a picture. I might get in the composter and look for more to feed the chickens and get rid of them....
     
  5. Sep 19, 2019
    MDurkee

    MDurkee Sprout

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    I have so many in my compost as well. I water it often and add kitchen scraps to the pile about once a week. Not sure why these awful creatures are in there? Is there a safe way to get them all to go away?
     

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  6. Sep 19, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I see these all of the time. MY chickens love 'em.
     
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  7. Sep 19, 2019
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    :frow Welcome to the forum, glad you joined. :frow

    That's not a cutworm, its a grub that will turn into a beetle one day. What kind of beetle? I don't know but I consider grubs bad. There are about 300,000 species of beetles planet-wide. Not all grubs turn into Japanese beetles or June bugs, but some do.

    If you have chickens, ducks, peafowl, guineas, or such they'd love to go through your compost and eat them. I don't know of a good way for you to get rid of them other than pick them out when turning the compost and kill them. I don't like using pesticides on my compost as that will kill beneficials.
     
  8. Sep 20, 2019
    MDurkee

    MDurkee Sprout

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    Thank you for the info. I was thinking the little lizards around here may like them. I am relieved to know they are not cutworms but not all that happy to know that they are beetles either. We have been seeing some huge beetles around here this year.

    I would love to have some chickens. Maybe this will be another way to talk my husband into getting a couple. ;)
     
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  9. Sep 21, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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