Melon Pest - Cutworms
Content from UC IPM: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/
DESCRIPTION OF THE PESTS
Cutworm adults are medium-sized moths, usually brown or gray, about 1 inch long. Mature larvae are robust, nearly 1.5 inches (3.7 cm) long, and their skin is either mottled brown or gray. Larvae tend to curl up into a C-shape when they are disturbed.
Young plants are often damaged or killed by cutworms. These caterpillars usually hide in the soil under debris, or under clods during the day. At night they come out to feed, cutting off the plants at or just below the crown level. Several different species of cutworms may cause damage. The roughskinned cutworm is a serious pest of cantaloupes in certain localities, causing scarring to the underside of melons.