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Help I'm under attack !!

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Help I'm under attack !!

Post  acara on 9/27/2010, 11:40 pm

Everything was fine at 7am this morning. I came home about an hour ago and it looked like my garden had taken a hit from a fragmentation grenade, or Freddie Kruger desides to go "Nightmare on Elm Street" on them.

Cantalope seems to be the worst hit ....decimated both vines.

Any clue what this is;




Other pics ...

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v102/acara/Hosted%20stuff/SFG%20Gardening/Attack%2027SEP/


I can't find a single critter on the 100+ leaves I cut & inspected.....and this was all in a 12 hour period ...... everything was pristine this morning.
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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  Chopper on 9/27/2010, 11:48 pm

I don't suppose you have any Tasmanian devils in your neck of the woods?

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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  acara on 9/27/2010, 11:54 pm

I've been looking around and found this;

It's a tiny brown caterpillar called "The Beggar" (Eubaphe mendica) It's in one of the largest moth families - the Geometridae - often called "inchworms".

But I've seen inchworm damage before and the holes dont look eliptical ...... this is more like someone took a scalpel/razor-blade to the leaves.

I cut everything affected off & hauled out to the trashcan & then hit everything with a good dose of NEEM. Of course, now a torrential downpour came through, so I'll be back reapplying tomorrow.
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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  Chopper on 9/28/2010, 2:57 am

I wish I knew. The one thing that becomes very apparent here is there are many experts here - except in the bug and disease area. We all scratch our heads and say "What the heck?" :scratch:

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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  Old Hippie on 9/28/2010, 3:49 am

Dang! That sucks! I have had something eating my one rose too and for the life of me, I can't find anything. Earlier this year something was really going after my dahlias too. Finally found some fuzzy caterpillars in them. Grasshoppers made a mess of some of the leaves on one of my allocacia.

There is nothing more frustrating than watching your plants get wiped out and not know how to fight it. Best of luck!

GK
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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  acara on 9/28/2010, 9:26 am

Thanks for looking guys.

I've removed all the damage (I now have my first topiary vine ...LOL) & I'll treat for caterpillers with BT.

Very humbling .... I thought I'd seen about every type of disease and critter damage you can have on a plant in Florida....but this ones got me scratching my head..... in respect to the damage type, the short-term-magnitude & being unable to identify the source.

I really stay on top of my plantings (minimum 2x/daily) but I think the vampire-gardening has put me at a disadvantage & I'm missing stuff in the artificial lighting that would jump out at me in the midday sunlight.
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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  Odd Duck on 9/28/2010, 12:23 pm

That looks like hail damage to me. Any chance you got a dab of hail that all melted before you got home? Or a severe burst of wind?

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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  acara on 9/28/2010, 1:56 pm

@Odd Duck wrote:That looks like hail damage to me. Any chance you got a dab of hail that all melted before you got home? Or a severe burst of wind?

Yes and yes ..... we had a rain squall & hail is not out of the question in my area.

I kinda eliminated that due to the localized damage (two squares out of the 16 in my 4 x 4 box).....but I'm just guessing

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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  trukrebew on 9/29/2010, 3:29 am

I like the tazmanian devil suggestion.

boogie woogie

Or perhaps a maverick locust?

affraid
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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  Odd Duck on 9/29/2010, 1:52 pm

@acara wrote:

Yes and yes ..... we had a rain squall & hail is not out of the question in my area.

I kinda eliminated that due to the localized damage (two squares out of the 16 in my 4 x 4 box).....but I'm just guessing


It would be odd, but not impossible to get very focal hail. I've certainly been driving down the road going in and out of rain squalls with driving rain then dry pavement 10 feet later. I've never seen it that abupt with hail, but I've seen it taper off fairly abruptly with hail.

Or maybe it was a clumsy bird going after a bug that kept popping around to different leaves! Laughing

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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  acara on 9/29/2010, 2:33 pm

I'm now running with the Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Skunk-Ape theory (Chupacabra & Aliens were already taken by gardeners in Texas & Nebraska this month).

Heck ...it's Florida, so it could be some new insect strain for all I know ....nothing here is native & everything survives, thrives and/or mutates cyclops
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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  Chopper on 9/29/2010, 4:33 pm

Are you near the big city? Maybe there was a knife fight in your back yard and your plants lost.

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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  outsideasy on 10/2/2010, 3:16 am

OK back to reality, we have gone through this same scenario here in Modesto in our new garden and it is cut worms. I hate cut worms, they are ugly little creatures and they are ravenous little things. Out late last night with flashlights we corralled about a 100 of the little devils. You never see them because they burrow in the ground during the day and come out to eat at night.
There are three types of cut worms, one eats roots below ground and one cuts at ground level and the last crawls up to eat the leaves.
If it is in fact cut worms you're in for a fight. When the caterpillar is mature it stays burrowed in the ground for it's next pupa stage then it emerges as a moth and starts laying eggs all over again.What's bad about them is they fly at night and ley their eggs and you never know what hit you till it's too late. Having fun yet? Go get em and don't let up. We purchased spray at OSH called Orchard Insect Killer but have since learned of BT and we will use that from now on as well as putting Sevin dust on the ground. I know it sounds extreme but I'm not fooling around! Attack, Attack, Attack, relentless Attack. If you don't they will take over.
Good Luck
Al


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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  acara on 10/2/2010, 5:39 am

Yep.....agree with yr theory .....turned off the garden lights and broke out the night vision last night & it looked like insect-LAX with all the brown moths taking off and landing. Those are some big suckers !!

I'm already using the BT, but I'll up the frequency of sprayings for a bit.

I actually found one of those old-school powder/dust sprayers today & plan to hit everything with a coat of Seven-Dust in the morning.


Only thing I'm scratching my head on is that the 4 tomato plants in the SFG are untouched (along with the beans and peppers). I've never seen any bug in FL that didn't go straight for the tomato plants first ....wierd.

Guess these guys just prefer cantalope
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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  acara on 10/2/2010, 11:38 pm

Im all BT'd and 7-dusted now ... I'm crossing my fingers
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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  outsideasy on 10/3/2010, 3:07 am

We are going hunting tonight with flashlights and buckrts

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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  Chopper on 10/3/2010, 1:36 pm

So...how did it go?

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Re: Help I'm under attack !!

Post  outsideasy on 10/3/2010, 4:55 pm

I pulled about 30 or 40 caterpillers out of the whole garden so it's getting better. Everyone has put something down (spray or dust) and most of the worms are moving slow like the chemicals are taking effect so I think we are on the way to clearing our infestation.
I want our garden group to talk about a big bug zapper to collect moths during the night hours too.
Al






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