Help ID Caterpiller Destroying my Pole Beans

lizzygracepond(7)September 9, 2012

HI! I have/had an infestation of this caterpillar. It started on my pole beans in controllable numbers. I sprayed with neem and a few days after I went to check on the population, I noticed I had a huge surge. They were everywhere, eating my fall garden, and destroying the pole bean leaves. I had to spray with malathion. After I sprayed, I found SO MANY DEAD!!!! A few days later, I went to check and pick, and there are still adults chomping away. I only found one, but I bet there are more. Any ideas??? Thanks.

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I saw two of these on my pole beans today for the first time. I later went to remove the leaf they were on and only found one of them. Your story is not making me feel good about delaying removing them. It is a bean leaf roller (Urbanus proteus).

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:48PM
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GardinGirl OH NO! Well, I waited and Geez, They ate my fall garden to the stem, and as you can see I take the word "Pole" bean literally. LOL. I get on a ladder to pick. The leaves on most of the vines are destroyed. The picture I took is looking up at the eaten leaves at the top. I read that BT will kill the young,(on my plants, they were white/cream tiny larva with a bump like head. They have big heads eh!! BT won't kill the adults because their stomachs are too strong to be affected. This is from an .edu extension pdf, can't remember where. I can't get a balance in my garden. I know on paper what to do, I do it, then something else gets it, now I got whiteflies, and squirrels, and tomato pinworms, and most likely a hornworm somewhere in there LOL!!! If you are lucky, you have enough good pests to eat them, if you keep getting cut leaves, spray the dang things. I also tried Neem Oil, did nothing to them.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Here in my part of Florida they arrive every year in August. Since I know when to expect them I keep an eye out for the eggs and the young caterpillars. I have a small home garden so it's not hard to find the little guys and squish them before they do too much damage. I still get some damage but not enough to ruin my crop.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:32PM
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I see some leaf damage but the majority are ok. I haven't found any more, and still can't find the one that I missed. Hopefully, I won't get a full blown infestation. I wonder if they are eating the nearby sweet potato leaves instead as I saw some leaf damage there. However, that isn't so bad as I have way too many sweet potato leaves to be able to eat all of them.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:15AM
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I spoke too soon. I saw some more today. I removed all the ones I saw but it was getting dark and would not be surprised if I missed some.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:46PM
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Silver-spotted skipper.

Habitat: Gardens, roadsides, and open areas.

Range: throughout North America

Food: Caterpillars eat foliage of leguminous plants(an erect or climbing bean or pea plant of the family Leguminosae)

Flight: throughout the summer.

The caterpillars hide all day in silken nests among foliage, emerging to feed at night.

Perhaps hand-picking would help?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:35PM
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brownthumb65(8B Florida)

I had those also on my pole beans. I would go out in the morning and unfurl the leaves and cut them in half with scissors!
I did not have too many plants, so it was not that bad. Thanks for the info on the butterfly, I thought it was a moth also.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:37PM
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