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More insects

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More insects

Post  outsideasy on 9/28/2010, 2:57 pm

Hi everyone, one of our gardeners pulled up half of his 4x8 box and sprayed the dirt with an insectacide from OSH and you should have seen the (I think) cut worms running out of the soil and doing a dance. It looked like a rodeo, I collected some and put them on a napkin so you could see them, I think they come from the white butterflies that flutter around here. He picked about 20 of these out as they danced around from the spray.

I think that is what is eating Sheila's garden too

the cabbage is full of holes like this. Any thoughts or suggestions as to protecting our crop would be appreciated. We are currently using Neem & Safer Tomato and vegetable insect killer, it seems to be working fairly well but leaves still get eaten and evidence of new chomping everyday. Thanks

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Re: More insects

Post  Chopper on 9/28/2010, 3:31 pm

A row cover for keeping the white butterflies from laying eggs.

Are there traps you can get for moths?

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Re: More insects

Post  acara on 9/28/2010, 3:32 pm

For me, with worms the sprays seem to only work if you catch them in the act .....then again, I don't need the spray if I catch them in the act *** insert evil chuckle here ***

BT seems to work once you know they are there, but it takes 2-3 days after the worms start munching the BT before they stop eating and die.

Seven Dust works .... on insects, pets, animals, people, aliens .... so I obviously try to use that under dire circumstances.

As far as NEEM goes ... it's a safe and effective preventative IMHO, but I've never been able to "drive off" an infestation/attack (other than aphids) with NEEM

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Re: More insects

Post  outsideasy on 9/29/2010, 2:59 pm

It seems that they have been identified as Army Cutworms and they are devastating. They have taken one complete box and are working on others. From what I have read so far we have two choices, let them eat or put something down so strong that we won't want to eat what's left. I really have to think about this one, I have all kinds of lettuce growing and we have been enjoying Sweet Greens, Spicy Greens, Arugula, Swiss Chard, the head type lettuces aren't big enough yet but I think the cut worms will get to them before they mature. More thoughts on this later!

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Re: More insects

Post  akameswaran on 9/29/2010, 3:24 pm

I had really bad cabbage worms on my collard greens in the spring - and have been battling back and forth with them over a fall cauliflower. I didn't win with the collards, using neem and safer soap.

However, I have had decent luck with the cauliflower, but it's a constant battle.

What has worked so far is this. I used the right after I noticed them, then sprayed with neem every 3 days or so. Neem really doesn't help once your infested, but does seem to minimize them if you have been able to control them. I have to reapply the BT today, as I was traveling a lot, and we've had a lot of rain. Between the new growth and the washing off, there are a few new little green buggers chomping holes in my food!

You might also try dusting them with Diatemacious earth. It's completely innocuous, and might work on the soft bodied worms. It will also kill anything else soft bodied. However, I didn't find it nearly as effective on my collard greens, which is why I switched to the BT. The good thing about DE is that they don't have to eat it to die. But as I said, it was not very effective for me on cabbage worms.

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Re: More insects

Post  outsideasy on 10/1/2010, 12:24 am

OK I've learned more about the Cut Worm, a menacing little devil. It comes from a brown moth that travels at night and lays eggs every where it goes (up to 1500), it loves high density vegitation to lay their eggs and we provide beautiful soil for the larvae stage (caterpillers) to burrow down into during the day. When mature they burrow into the ground and turn to the Pupae stage then hatch in the soil and fly out to start the whole thing over again. Here in the San Juaquine Valley, California, It's prime territory for these critters and so we live with them. I didn't know about these guys until we started to garden and everyone was having their garden box eaten alive. Sheila and I have turned to a spray treatment and 7 dust on the ground to try and stop them from decimating our garden. If we can't eat it neither can they.
Al

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Re: More insects

Post  herbarium on 10/1/2010, 8:33 am

The only cutworms I have had are those which cut the plant off right above soil level. I haven't had them for years.
What is eating the cabbages and collards are more likely the larvae from a cabbage butterfly. My onions, garlic, and herbs are interspersed through out my garden plus I have a birdbath right in the middle. I think this helps deter and control many insects.

Here is some info about controlling cutworms organically
http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/cutworms.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_9369_control-cutworms.html

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Re: More insects

Post  outsideasy on 10/1/2010, 5:33 pm

Three of our gardeners went out last night with flash lights and removed at least 100 cut worms from the 14 4x8 boxes on our garden. We are organizing a night watch every night to remove them as much as possible. Also BT it the next choice for chemical.

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Re: More insects

Post  Megan on 10/2/2010, 10:10 am

@outsideasy wrote:Three of our gardeners went out last night with flash lights and removed at least 100 cut worms from the 14 4x8 boxes on our garden. We are organizing a night watch every night to remove them as much as possible. Also BT it the next choice for chemical.

Wow, you sound very organized and determined! Bravo! Is this a commercial effort or a community one? Just curious.

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Re: More insects

Post  outsideasy on 10/2/2010, 11:30 am

Megan, this is a cummunity effort by a bunch of seniors at a mobile home park. A few of us were out last night again and pulled another 50 to 75 caterpillers and a few harliquin bugs off of our garden boxes. Us old folks don't like our garden eaten by these critters. My wife Sheila (PNG-Grandma) organized this whole project and it was doing well until suddenly every garden box was under attack by these cut worms. All kinds of new ideas are being thrown around in our little group about how to prevent this from happening again and it keeps us busy thinking of how to out fox Mother Nature's cycle of a bugs life.
Al

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Re: More insects

Post  Old Hippie on 10/2/2010, 11:35 am

@outsideasy wrote:Three of our gardeners went out last night with flash lights and removed at least 100 cut worms from the 14 4x8 boxes on our garden. We are organizing a night watch every night to remove them as much as possible. Also BT it the next choice for chemical.


Whoa! This has the makings of a horror flick! Attack of the Killer Tomatoes or Killer Bees would pale by comparison. Monster cutworms and the night watch in camo gear out stocking them. Between you and Acara......Wow! Perhaps it is some sort of terrorist plot by Monsanto to overthrow home gardeners so they will have total control of the world's food sources.

Sorry! I don't mean to make fun of your situation. It sucks to watch your harvest fall victim to a bunch of insects. Last year I had slugs, teeny ones that took every scrap of lettuce I planted. I love your attitude......If I can't eat, neither can they!! "Death to the evil horde, I say!" (quote from my 4 yr old grandson!)

GK

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Re: More insects

Post  Old Hippie on 10/2/2010, 11:39 am

@outsideasy wrote: this is a cummunity effort by a bunch of seniors at a mobile home park. A few of us were out last night again and pulled another 50 to 75 caterpillers and a few harliquin bugs off of our garden boxes. Us old folks don't like our garden eaten by these critters.

Never underestimate the power of the senior citizen. You know what they say about old age and treachery. Laughing Best of luck.

GK

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Re: More insects

Post  outsideasy on 10/2/2010, 11:42 am

Yes, torches and pitch forks, lets go getem !

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Re: More insects

Post  Megan on 10/2/2010, 11:52 am

Apparently I missed your original explanation of your organization, I'm sorry. Apparently I'm having a junior moment. Smile

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Cutworm help

Post  dcgelinas on 10/2/2010, 3:54 pm

How to Prevent Cutworms
Cutworms are the larvae of caterpillar moths. While the moths do not do much (if any) damage, cutworms got their name for a reason... they cut down young plants. Literally. By applying this recipe to your planting areas this fall, you will prevent cutworms in the spring. Prevention is key. Getting rid of them once they arrive is tedious and sometimes not at all effective.

Difficulty: Easy
Instructions

Things You'll Need:
1 cup Murphy's Oil Soap
1 Tobacco
1 cup Antiseptic Mouthwash
20 gallon hose end sprayer
1
Soak about 1/2 can of chewing tobacco in some hot water.
2
Once the water turns dark brown, drain it.
3
Mix 1 cup of this tobacco water with the other ingredients.
4
Pour your new cutworm prevention concoction into a 20 gallon hose end sprayer for easy application. Top it off with warm water so the jar is full.
5
Spray this over your lawn and garden areas in the fall.


Read more: How to Prevent Cutworms | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4513787_prevent-cutworms.html#ixzz11EVXzLVi

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Re: More insects

Post  camprn on 10/2/2010, 4:10 pm

Sounds interesting. I am a bit leery of using this on the beds that I plan to plant tomatoes, eggplants cucumbers or peppers as I would like to avoid the Tobacco Mosaic Virus.

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Re: More insects

Post  Megan on 10/2/2010, 4:20 pm

I didn't realize that cutworms could cause leaf damage. All I did was put several toothpicks around the stems of my tomatoes and peppers. Now I feel silly.

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Re: More insects

Post  herbarium on 10/2/2010, 6:46 pm

No reason to feel silly about the toothpicks. I have only had cutworms that cut off plants at ground level and if that is what you get you did well to help prevent them.

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Re: More insects

Post  Megan on 10/2/2010, 7:26 pm

Thank you for the advice, beuna. Smile

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Re: More insects

Post  outsideasy on 10/3/2010, 1:34 am

dcgelinas, Thank you for that info and link, I will do it all and try to convince the rest of our garden group to go along with it and get rid of the pest totally if we can. If any of you see signs of cut worm go after them with all you got from the very first sign because they will turn your pride and joy into their junk yard.
Al

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Re: More insects

Post  Shoda on 10/7/2010, 2:17 am

WOW... I am so sorry you are going through this! It sounds like you have a plan in place to take care of them. You will have to keep us posted on how it works out for you.

And am I correct that these nasty worms are from the cute white moth that flits around cabbage plants? (I have seen the moth but not the worms so far).

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Re: More insects

Post  outsideasy on 10/7/2010, 1:50 pm

I will keep up my posts to follow things on this war with the cut worms, I (we) have pulled out several hundred cut worms so far from little bitty ones to big fat ready to stay in the ground ready to pupae stage. It is really hard to control because everyone is not in agreement on using the same thing to kill and ward off the infestation. Our boxes (Sheila and Mine) and four others are looking good because I am spraying them equally with a stronger product but still able to harvest things only days after spraying acording to label instructions. There are others using soaps and neem oil and this is not cutting it but rather hurting all other efforts to eradicate the pest. I never thought of this scenario in the beginning but now wish I had control of all garden boxes. I have also purchased a Bug Zapper on line and waiting for it to arrive so we can try to eliminate the moth that lays the eggs in the first place.
That brings us to the moth that causes this and no, it is not the daytime fluttering one, it flies at night and is brown about an inch and a half wing span and has a white dot on each wing about mid wing closer to the front edge and lays about 1500 eggs per moth. We were actually hit by them flying around while picking off their offspring. It's really crazy like holding back the flood, I think I read that they are more active this time of year but I am not sure because I have read so much on bugs that my info is running into overload. I am working on tenting one box with a pvc frame and netting over it, that will keep the moth from landing in there and prevent this cycle. Photos and story to follow.
Al

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Re: More insects

Post  boffer on 10/7/2010, 2:03 pm

Thanks Al, your journey is fascinating. I never thought about the pest problem either, nor the organic vs. non-organic. And there's no one right answer either.

It's a good thing you're old enough to have become patient, understanding, tolerant, accepting, sympathetic, tranquil, and philosophical towards those with whom you disagree.

right?:

NOT!!! waste of time yahoo


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Re: More insects

Post  Shoda on 10/7/2010, 8:24 pm

Thanks for all your details. It will certainly help others to avoid these pesky worms. Keep us posted.

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Re: More insects

Post  outsideasy on 10/8/2010, 12:01 pm

Any one in the San Juaquine or Stanislaus county will have to fight these critters especially with the dense planting SFG calls for and Mels Mix or any prepared soil used for gardening. It is so easy for cut worms to bore into, perfect for them to live their cycle of life in. This is agriculture country and all around us are big farms that must have to deal with these critters and more, so I am getting a better understanding of what might be in our grocery store produce. It makes me wonder what my (our) life time exposure to chemicals is doing to the human race. My goal is to produce some healthy chemical free vegetables by tenting garden boxes and using safer growing practices but right now I have to take care of what is going on the best way I can. A real eye opener and reality check.
I don't know about the patience and understanding or any of the other attributes you mention towards those I disagree, but I do enjoy your comments and humor, it lightens thing up and we all appreciate that.
Al

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Re: More insects

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