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what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

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what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  L&K-IL on 6/9/2010, 12:16 am

topic says it all...
they're small (the leaf is the size of a bottle cap)
I have random holes (nothing crazy extensive yet) on a bunch of different crops. These were all on the snow peas.
It's almost like they tried all the crops and landed on the snow peas and I FINALLY found them.
If anyone would like to save me the research time, it is much appreciated!

And where the heck to these little suckers come from? My beds are elevated 32". I guess they do move fast and stick to pretty much anything.








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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  SFG in Chicago on 6/9/2010, 12:52 am

looks like some sort of caterpillar. They didn't crawl up from the ground. Whatever moth/butterfly they are as adults lays the eggs right on their preferred plants.

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  plb on 6/9/2010, 3:27 am

I think it's a pea moth grub. If you google it, you'll find a lot of info on what to do. The moth lays the eggs on the plant, and then the little caterpillars hatch. They're horrible little pests, and they will burrow in your pea pods, make holes in the peas and scatter their poo in the pod...
I think it's a good idea to grow peas under insect mesh...

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  L&K-IL on 6/9/2010, 11:50 pm

any treatment?
didn't find much online...

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  plb on 6/10/2010, 7:12 am

Prevention is best. It consists of choosing varieties that will flower at a time when the pea moth is not active if you can, and use insect mesh to carefully cover the peas so the moth cannot lay the eggs on them.
There are sprays, but if the grubs are in the pod they won't do any good, and if you spray too early it won't work either. What stage are your peas at?
I'd suggest you talk to your local extension expert to get some advice, they know all this stuff very well, and they'll also be able to confirm if this is indeed pea moth or not.

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  L&K-IL on 6/10/2010, 10:05 pm

here's a pic from a few days ago....
they're on the far right hand side...


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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  plb on 6/11/2010, 3:53 am

They look still small, I don't think they're flowering yet, correct? In that case you should be able to spray them and get rid of them before they get in the pods; ask the local extension or a garden centre for advice on what to use and when. However, you might not want to use chemicals on your food... Maybe you can try and pick the grubs by hand and dispose of them, if you can stomach it, and in the mean time put some insect netting to prevent the moth to get more eggs on your peas. If you can get rid of the lot and protect the flowers, your peas should be safe. Even If you don't manage to get rid of them all, remember that even if a pod is attacked, the grub will not eat all the peas in the pod, so you should be able to salvage a good percentage of your crop and just discard the single peas that have not been munched on.
The other thing to keep in mind, according to various articles, is that any surviving grub will overwinter in the soil, ready to come up in spring as a moth and lay more eggs on your peas. That means that if you have a pea moth problem, you shouldn't grow peas in the same soil for two years. Hopefully you have some other box you can use for peas next year.

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  chocolatepop on 6/11/2010, 10:06 am

I would use BT/Thuricide ( http://www.dirtworks.net/B.T.-Insecticidal-Soap.html )

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  plb on 6/11/2010, 12:27 pm

Pea moth is not among the pests listed in the directions of Thuricide. I'd check with the local extension before putting stuff that might not work for this specific pest.

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  chocolatepop on 6/11/2010, 1:07 pm

@plb wrote:Pea moth is not among the pests listed in the directions of Thuricide. I'd check with the local extension before putting stuff that might not work for this specific pest.

In my experience, BT usually works on small caterpillars alike. If you are trying to stay organic I'd try this, or neem oil. Push comes to shove you can try sevin.

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  L&K-IL on 6/12/2010, 10:34 pm

Well...the good news is the damage seems to be under control. I found 5 little grubs in total and put all 5 out of their misery.

I'm just going to keep watching and see if the damage continues. I have pole peas coming up now.

And to answer your question, it looks like they're starting to flower.

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  sceleste54 on 6/13/2010, 1:50 am

BT will work on anything that chews the leaves...

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  L&K-IL on 6/13/2010, 3:32 pm

Pulled one more worm off...he was an all green caterpillar-like nuisance.

It's so bizarre....there is a little bit of eating going on on all the plants....
Maybe the 3-4 daddy long-legged spiders hanging out in various places are taking care of the nuisances before I find them...

For example, something was nipping at the carrot tops, and leaving some very small droppings, but I can't find anything.

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  L&K-IL on 6/13/2010, 3:33 pm

By the way...the peas are doing OK....they are yellow for about the bottom 30% of the plant.
I wonder if it's the splashing of compost, etc. up on the plants due to all the rain...
The upper 2/3 of the plants look great, and they're flowering.

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

Post  plb on 6/14/2010, 11:26 am

Caterpillars can be very good at camouflage. I have a small parsley plant, and at some point it was showing signs of being eaten by something. Since it was up on a table, I thought it must be a caterpillar and not a slug. Well, I had to inspect it 4 different times before I found the little pest, despite the fact that the plant had just 4 stems and a handful of leaves; it just had exactly the same color of the plant, and it was very easy to miss... Keep looking!

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re: what are these little worms

Post  Maya Papaya on 6/15/2010, 5:48 pm

OMG! I had the same little worms on my lettuce. I just picked them off ASAP - I haven't found anymore. I think the best prevention is early detection. I don't know what they were.

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Re: what are these LITTLE hungry worms?

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