Caterpillar Damage

karyn1(7a)September 8, 2010

Those damn green cats are really causing problems. The variegated brugs have it the worst. Not sure why. The variegated plants are all over the yard and all have suffered more then the standard green foliage plants. This Snowbank is pretty much skeletonized.

My ceropegia crassifolia finally bloomed. I love ceropegias but wish they were easier to find. It seems like most of the nurseries that carry ones I don't already have are in Europe and they won't ship to the states. If anyone knows where I can get some please let me know. The last pic is the cactus that I posted the other day now fully open.

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Hi Karyn-
I know what you mean about the cats- I've never seen them this bad, - ever. I went through 10# of Dipel (BT) to try to get them under control. I also used sevin, & safers' soap. I must have wiped out next year's population of Butterflies, but oh well, they were ridiculous this year! I love Ceropegias too, haven't seen one is years. If I find any, I'll get it to you. Your cactus is very pretty!
Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 10:16PM
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I really think this year is worse then normal. I don't use pesticides and have always picked them off by hand but could always keep one step ahead. Not this year, pretty obvious from the pics.

Bob Smoley's has 3 ceropegias that I don't have so I'll try there. I found a site with the coolest cereopegias and asclepiads in general. Wonderful pics, I wanted everything. Of course they were in the UK and won't ship here. They won't even entertain the thought of going thru the process of obtaining a phyto cert. : (

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 10:39PM
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Geesh Karyn, I was devasted for you just looking at that picture of snowbank. That is so sad. I personally, have had to stick my foot in my mouth regarding keeping perfect leaves...I know sooner boasted, and I swear, not even a day later, I go out and my leaves have holes and tears all over.
It's only because they're such big leaves that we even notice but still... But you're poor plant certainly puts my little problems into perspective. I won't be bit**ing about the occasional hole or tear in my leaves anymore. Humbled.

You are great with the cactus, I've noticed them in a lot of your other pictures and the flowers are so pretty and unique. Sure does change the normal perusing expectations to the rare sight!

Thanks for sharing - Sandy

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 12:56AM
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I was out on my daily caterpillar round up/extermination this morning and noticed that besides the variegated brugs they also seem to pick on the varieties with the fuzziest leaves. I have some smooth foliage brugs right next to the ones under attack that are almost untouched. There will be a few holes but it appears that they move on to a different plant. Their camoflague is just so good and they are so hard to find until the damage is done or you see frass. I'm glad that nobody complains (that I know of) about all my non brug pics. I probably have more varieties of brugs then any other type of plant but I do grow a wide variety of stuff.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 11:00AM
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Good grief, you weren't kidding when you said skeletonized! I have only a few holes, I will be thankful. Sorry they picked on you like that. The orchid is the coolest thing ever, I love that one!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 10:43PM
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If I could bring myself to use pesticides I could avoid such severe damage but I just can't do it. The affected brugs look like sh*t but they will recover. The ceropegia is actually a succulent native to Africa. They do have that "weird" orchid look. I love them but I'm drawn to odd looking plants and flowers. Wonder if that says anything about me? lol

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 10:59PM
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ruth_ann(Z5 Ont.Can.)

I only have my Lysimachia punctata (yellow Loosestrife) hit and they have cleaned it out pretty much but thus far have left everything else alone. I didn't mind what they were working on so let them be and never did look for the culprits.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:47AM
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princealbert(Aransas Pass TX)

I discovered Sow /pill /rollypolly bugs The ones that roll up into a ball when startled, feasting on a couple of my Brugs This morning. They were on one of the NOIDS that is going to bloom soon. I shook the trunk and knocked most of them off.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 11:14AM
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I've never seen a pill bug eating anything, except maybe roots. I only find them on the ground, usually under containers.

Ruth Ann I have pussy willow bushes that the Japanese beetles feast on. I don't care if they completely defoliate them as it keeps them away from everything else in the yard. They're kind of like that sacrificial cow of the garden. lol

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 1:11PM
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Do you (or anyone else) know what species of caterpillar/butterfly/moth is feasting on our brugs?

I've found the occasional Hornworm, but they mainly attack the tomatoes (not badly).

But the past two years my variegated's have been, as you say, skelotonized by a small, hairless, green and white striped cat.

Does anyone know what the culprit might be?


    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:31PM
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That's what's eating mine as well. It's not the hornworms which I occasionally get. I don't know and have even posted on the butterfly forum but never got an answer. They remind me of the cats that eat broccoli and cabbage, Cabbage Worms or Cabbage Lopers. I like the little white butterflies but not that much. lol

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:48PM
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ruth_ann(Z5 Ont.Can.)

Yes Karyn, some plants become the sacrificial cows, that's what my Loosestrife is!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 10:49AM
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Wow, those cats are hungry! Karyn, I'm with you about staying organic. I want my GD to be able to run barefooted in my lawn anytime she comes over, and my chickens to be able to free-range. Besides, I'm also looking out for myself! Those cats hide/blend so well that I couldn't find any this morning although my brugs are being chewed on.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 11:40AM
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My plants didn't have much damage when I last posted on Friday, but since mine are beginning to resemble yours...

The cabbage worms in your link superficially resemble the cats I have, but mine pretty much have legs the entire length of the body and so don't have the appearance of "loopers".

It's funny, but they have pretty much left my Miners Claim alone even though the plant is actually in physical contact with other variegateds.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 10:25PM
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huachuma, has your Miners Claim bloomed? Mine is about 5' tall from the soil line, not bushy at all, and hasn't changed much since I got it a couple of years ago. I'm curious what the bloom will be like. As yours, mine also doesn't seem to be attacked by bugs like the other ones. Of course, it's also further away from the other ones and close to the house.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 5:43AM
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I lost my Miner's Claim a few years ago before it ever bloomed. I haven't seen anyone selling them since. I think it's supposed to have a single pink bloom.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 7:24AM
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chena(z8 Texas)

Those cats have been very busy!! LOL I haven't had any trouble with the cats but the dang grasshoppers are about to wear me out!!


    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 10:18AM
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My Miners Claim has bloomed every year since I bought it about 4 years ago, but not profusely. It never gets very tall, maybe 2 feet this year...

It's in the shade of bananas, ginger and Tecoma stans here in the Central Valley this summer and it has been in a pot that I move to a barely warmed green house in the winter months.

I purchased it at a roadside nursery near Big Basin State Park; I wish I could tell you the name of the nursery...

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 11:12PM
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Oh... and the bloom is as karyn described, pink and single. Mine is quite bushy, but that might be attributed to the shade I have it in, in the intense Valley sun we have here...

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 11:17PM
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I got mine from Dogwooderitternet on Ebay but he hasn't had anymore listed in a few years. I'm pretty sure I'd seen it listed in the Logees catalog at some point but I wouldn't get plants from them if they paid me! Eventually I'll find another. I like the yellowish white and green variegation of the MC. It's a bit different then most variegated brugs.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 6:03AM
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