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Pests that munch at night

Posted by slyrrp (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 15, 10 at 16:07

I'm trying my hand at straw-bale gardening this year, thinking yep, this'll finally help keep the rabbits from munching everything in sight. But now I'm thinking maybe it wasn't always just them. The tomatoes went in ok, so did the parsley. Then I put some soil over an area & started cukes. After they came up I was so happy and was lamenting the chore of thinning, which I always hate to do because I never like killing useful plants.

Looks like something took care of that for me. The cukes all looked fine late one evening, but I got up the next morning to find most of them chewed off. One was left that looked heavily bug-bitten, with the telltale rounded indentations & all. The rest looked like they'd been lopped almost/or completely off by something like a cutworm. I pulled out a few fly strips & placed them all around the sown area. Next morning, the most recently emerged ones were also cut down to the stems, and nothing I'd consider suspect was caught in the fly tape. Today, I noticed that the parsley in a nearby container was also munched, but strangely not the ones in the straw.
Could it be more than one culprit? Possibilities are rabbits and birds, but I do have a lot of earwigs & pillbugs around.
I'd like to hear your best guess, as I'm ready to wage an all-out WAR on these invisible beasts. I never even had this much trouble growing them in the ground!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pests that munch at night

How has your weather been.

THE VERY SAME THING HAPPEN TO MINE.. Do you jknow what id was? Slugs and snails..Yup..

I had never seen them until I put slug and snail bait down around my plants, and boy did I see a whole lot of dead slugs,HUGE ones at that, snails, pillbugs, and earwigs the next morning.

Prior to this, they even lopped off all my marigold leaves and flowers, petunias, cukes, lettuce, parsley, basil, and anything else they could bet their mouths on..The whole time I thought it was some kind of animal..

Seems that they are finally being left alone..

RE: Pests that munch at night

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 17, 10 at 11:06

If you want to know what is going on in your garden at night, go out after dark with a flashlight and look. Slugs, snails, earwigs, pillbugs, cutworms - if the problem - will be present then and you will know what you are dealing with, which to target.

RE: Pests that munch at night

Hard to imagine slugs climbing up straw bales...? Would they do that? I've never seen slugs or snails in my garden before, no trails or anything like that.
I did set out an earwig trap (can of sardines emptied except for the oil) and only caught one earwig. I set it on the ground so as to draw them away from plants on top of the bale. Also, I sprayed the bale top with diluted citronella oil. Haven't seen any more munching yet, but I bet I will. If someone tells me slugs & snails hide in or climb straw bales, then I will try a trap for them.

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