cut worms?

bkay2000(8a TX)March 27, 2014

I'm having continued problems with this critter. I've had this kind of damage since they started coming up. It's kind of random, and just in a few pots.

It's been dry here for the last year, so I don't think it's slugs. All I can think of is cutworms. The last time I had cutworms, the hosta were a lot further along, so this does not look the same. I put spinosid on them today, but I really hate the white powder.

Any other ideas?

bk

This post was edited by bkay2000 on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 20:04

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Babka NorCal 9b

Spinosad comes in liquid too, and it doesn't leave a noticeable residue on the leaves. I spray it on for mites in late Summer. It seems too early for cutworms, and they are easy to find in pots. They hide about 1/2 to 1" under the surface of the soil and if you run you fingers (wearing gloves, of course) and loosen that soil you will find them easily. Earwigs are around now and they might be your culprit. Make some little cigar sized rolls of wet newspaper and put one in the pot. In the morning shake it out. If you have earwigs they will hide in the paper. Worth a try anyway. It is always a good idea to identify the culprit if you can. Spinosad goes after chewing insects and you certainly have a "chewer" there.
-Babka

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 8:51PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

This stuff is Spinosad.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:29PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Oh, yeah. I have that, too. It's supposed to be warm tomorrow. That might be a good time to spray all the pots.

I'm also going out in an hour or so with a flashlight and see if I can find my culprit. Key West is being decimated.

Thanks, Babka I'll take a wet newspaper roll with me.

bk

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:21PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

set the pot on its side.. and scrape out the first inch of soil ... it should be there ...

cut worms do not travel much.. definitively not in and out of pots.. and dont dig that deep ..

i would prefer you properly ID a pest.. before willy nilly throwing stuff around... chem or organic ...

i see a lot of cold damage on that plant .. and it is very hard to see what you think is bug damage .. in that pic ... as everything is in focus.. but the damaged part ...

refill top of pot ... with same media ...

ken

ps: as to preventative spraying... well ... if you are using a CONTACT spray ... but not contacting a bug ... then you are wasting product ... use the proper assault weapon.. properly .... i dont know anything about spinosad ... so its your responsibility ... to use the proper spray for the proper bug ...

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:13AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

BK- I'm really curious as to what you found at night with a flashlight or in the newspaper roll this morning????? Gonna get that bug.

-Babka

Ken- Spinosad works as a spray for critters that chew. It stays on the surface of the foliage. They also mix it with Sluggo bait. It works that way too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wiki Spinosad info

This post was edited by Babka on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 12:51

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:40PM
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mosswitch

Slugs are out here, already. And the first thing I do is check for pillbugs as they have done more damage to my hostas than any other critter.

Sandy

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:42PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I didn't find anything Thursday night. I had already sprinkled the Spinosid, though. It rained off and on all day Friday. I had to work today, so did not get the roll early. I went out this afternoon and the newspaper was dried up.

So, I have no answers as of yet. I have not removed the top inch of soil. I will get Key West done tomorrow, for sure. It would take a lot of cutworms to hurt Francee, though. She's huge. I think she can fight her own battles.

I'll report what I find.

bk

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 10:34PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I could not remove the whole top 1 inch of soil in Key West. There were too many little roots. I removed some, but found no culprit. I sprinkled it again with spinosid.

The oddest thing happened. I went to the vet to get some flea stuff for Dan Patch. I paid $16.00 per pill for the product. It's called Comfortis. It's spinosid.

bk

This post was edited by bkay2000 on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 22:51

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:02PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

You shouldn't have to actually remove the top inch, just move it around to find the cutworm hiding there. Probably not cut worms if you didn't uncover one of those ugly worms. Any luck with the rolled up wet newspapers? The mystery continues.

-Babka

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:58AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well .. you looked ... good for you

it would have been in the loose soil.. not having worked its way into the roots.. so i am glad you didnt bare root it ...

be aware.. i have no aversion to chems/remedies ... just go easy .. try to ID.. and try to use as little as possible ...

a damaged leaf or two... really wont make that much difference in summer ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:36AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Whatever it is/was really likes Key West. It mangled or ate two out of five pips. It was new last summer, so it hasn't had time to really get big yet.

bk

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:47AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Every now and then I get some cut worm damage. But the main controls for the cutworms in my garden are the Carolina wrens and other small birds that love protein. By the time I notice the damage, and look for the worms, the birds have removed the guilty party. Maybe that is where your cutworm wound up too, BKay.

What the birds don't remove are the leaf rollers on my canna lilies, and I spray those down with Sevin ... about time to do that too.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 1:29AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Mocc, I thought you had to use a systemic for leaf rollers in cannas. That's what I advised my sister to do. (I think I heard it on the radio.) She has that orange and green striped one. I really like the way that looks, but I think it's too "hot" for a Texas garden.

bk

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:48AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

You are probably right, BKay, because last year all my cannas were mere skeletons of their past glory. I have Bengal Tiger and Tropicana both, absolutely love them. I'll shoot some Bug Juice on them too.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:33AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

On the radio, they said externally applied insecticides don't work because the leaf rollers are inside the rolled up leaf and the bug juice doesn't get there unless it's a systemic.

bk

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:02PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

BKay, I follow their reasoning. So, I guess I try something systemic.....like Bug Juice? :)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:59PM
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