cutworms and diatomaceous earth

I had regular problems with cutworms and seedlings. That is, until I dusted the ground around them with Sevin. That worked a treat. But in the interest of minimizing use of such insecticides, this year I tried dusting the area around some basil seedlings with diatomaceous earth, which I like very much for other insecticidal purposes. I had heard that it worked on cutworms. But I was somewhat startled that it didn't. The effect of the DE on the cutworms in my bed was pretty much like it simply wasn't there. I quickly put Sevin around the undamaged ones. Does anyone have any real success with diatomaceous earth for this purpose? If you do, how do you apply it to make it work? Maybe I have to heap big piles of the stuff? As in, making a physical barrier out of it? Maybe the cutworms slither through the stuff, chop down a plant, and then go off and die somewhere?

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