budworm caterpillar problem on petunias

asongbird(MAz6)August 28, 2005

Pretty sure I've identified mysterious tiny little black balls on my petunias, which are being chewed unmercifully -- and this has happened "all of a sudden." Budworm caterpillars seem to be the culprits.

Everyone else seems to be using insecticide. But I don't use chemicals in the garden. Any natural predators for these little buggies? Do they bother other plants besides petunias?



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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is entirely safe to use and is considered an organic treatment. Safe to use even on veggies you'll harvest the same day.

Bt is effective when caterpillars are less than half-grown -- and that's typically the case when those guys chew through your flower buds.

Realize that Bt is an ingredient rather than a brand name. It's available at all large independent garden centers. The easiest way to find it is to ask for a "safe caterpillar killer" or an "orgaic caterpillar killer."

If you don't want to do that, it's search-and-destroy mission. But lots of luck, this because they assume the color of the flower or leaf they ate.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 12:11AM
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