gardens, and which cannot fail to be effective when faithfully carried out, is hand-picking with lanterns at night or digging them out from around the base of the infested plants during the day. Bushels of cut-worms have been gathered in this way, and with profit. When from some cause success does not attend the use of the poisoned baits, to be discussed next, hand-picking is the only other method yet recommended that can be relied upon to check cut-worm depredations.
The best methods yet devised for killing cut-worms in any situation are the poisoned baits, using Paris green or arsenate of lead for the purpose. Poisoned bunches of clover or weeds have been thoroughly tested, even by the wagon-load, over large areas, and nearly all have reported them very effective; lamb's quarters (pigweed), pepper-grass, and mullein are among the weeds especially attractive to cutworms. On small areas the making of the baits is done by hand, but they have been prepared on a large scale by spraying the plants in the field, cutting them with a scythe or machine, and pitching them from wagons in small bunches wherever desired. Distributed a few feet apart, between rows of garden plants at nightfall, they have attracted and killed enough cut-worms often to save a large proportion of the crop; if the bunches can be covered with a shingle, they will keep fresher much longer. The fresher the baits, and the more thoroughly the baiting is done, the more cut-worms one can destroy. However, it may sometimes happen that a sufficient quantity of such green succulent plants cannot be obtained early enough in the season in some localities. In this case, and we are not sure but in all cases, the poisoned bran mash can be used to the best advantage. It is easily made and applied at any time, is not expensive, and thus far the results show that it is a very attractive and effective bait. A tablespoonful can be quickly dropped around the base of each cabbage or tomato plant; small amounts may be easily scattered along the rows of onions and turnips, or a little dropped on a hill of corn or cucumbers.
The best time to apply these poisoned baits is two or three days before any plants have come up or been set out in the garden. If the ground has been properly prepared, the worms will have had but little to eat for several days and they will thus seize the first opportunity to appease their hunger upon the baits, and wholesale destruction will result. The baits should always be applied at this time wherever cut-worms are expected. But it is not too late usually to save most of a crop after the pests have made their presence known by cutting off some of the plants. Act promptly and use the baits freely.
For mechanical means of protecting from cut-worms, see pp. 186-7.