Any bug/caterpillar gurus out there? It's eating my plants!
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Thread: Any bug/caterpillar gurus out there? It's eating my plants!

  1. #1

    Default Any bug/caterpillar gurus out there? It's eating my plants!

    Attachment 7332

    These things are destroying my plant!

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    I've got a flowering four foot tall Devil's Trumpet and when I left for work this morning it was loaded with blooms and leaves. When I came home it's nothing but twigs!

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    In about 10 hours about six of these suckers stripped it completely. They are bigger than my finger - longer and wider. Sorry the pics are so crappy, cell phone pics and hand tremors don't mix.

    But they have gray and white stripes and a little gray and white dot on each section that looks like a little eye. They are freaky HUGE! I was thinking of getting some Savin Dust but they've almost completely stripped the plant. I figure when they finish, they'll move on. Unless they make a cocoon and stick around. Will they turn into some huge moth or something? Sheesh!

    I'm terrible with plants but my neighbor is great. He mows my yard and takes care of the plants and he doesn't know what they are either.

  2. #2

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    looks like a "tomato horn worm" to me. > Manduca quinquemaculata
    the adult will be a sphinx moth.
    info:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manduca_quinquemaculata

  3. #3

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    That sure looks like them! Thanks for posting that, Funny. I see they are prey to a parasitic wasp. We recently had an invasion of ground hornets here and had to spray quite a bit. I wonder if that parasitic wasp was among them. It also says planting marigolds helps keep them away. I'm going to let my neighbor know and see if he will plant some for me.

    Oh these things are big and UGLY!!!

  4. #4

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    Well I'm not a guru but my google-fu is strong Looks like this guy, the Carolina Sphinx Moth caterpillar: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?s...e=Caterpillars

    see also the last two photos on this page: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/g...comname_value=

  5. #5

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    I think they are cute, its a shame to splat em......... oh go on then splat the mfk's :-)
    "we reach for the stars, forever looking to the heavens, our minds filled with wonder and the glory of the cosmic all; stretching the boundries of human knowledge and securing the solar system for the Human Species out there beyond the final frontier so one day our decendants will be as gods!
    You hold our hands so we don't blunder into things........and do the photo shop.
    "
    . Andyg


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsr15 View Post
    Well I'm not a guru but my google-fu is strong
    It is indeed grasshopper! Well done! Thanks for the links. I think the buggers just hooked up IV units to the sap in the plant. They're like little green vampires.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10 ball View Post
    I think they are cute, its a shame to splat em......... oh go on then splat the mfk's :-)
    I think my plant was cute too! The destroyed it the poor thing. And they are so huge - no way I'm going to splat 'em. Nope, someone else can do that or better yet, I'll just get the Savin Dust and let it splat 'em.

    Thanks guys for the links and information. I really appreciate it!

  7. #7

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    I have seen a few of these caterpillars and at their size they are quite voracious! I have tried a recipe a few years ago and it seemed to work on the rose bushes and other flower plants. Take any cooking oil (corn, canola, etc...), put it in a clear glass jar (about a pint should do for a couple of month), add about 1-2 inches thick of dried chili or if you want to be meaner, crushed jalapenos. Let it sit outside (in warm weather) in the shade for a week. The oil will get a red tinge meaning it is loaded with nasty pepper sting. Put in a spray pump and spray the upside of the leaves of the plants you do not want to be eaten. It worked for the smaller caterpillars we had, they have not eaten a single leave from the rose bushes, must have burn their jaws! The only drawback is that it leaves an oily film on the leaves and could be bad for them under a hot sun (a sunburn on the leaves is possible).
    Meanwhile, you will have to ditch those caterpillars because they will eat everything out, luckily at that size they are easy to catch! They will play dead and stay quite rigid when you put your fingers on them, you may have to pry them from their perch though...

  8. #8
    Brushlicker noneedforaname's Avatar
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    The only way to be sure is to nuke them from orbit

  9. #9

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    its a 'bug hunt'
    "we reach for the stars, forever looking to the heavens, our minds filled with wonder and the glory of the cosmic all; stretching the boundries of human knowledge and securing the solar system for the Human Species out there beyond the final frontier so one day our decendants will be as gods!
    You hold our hands so we don't blunder into things........and do the photo shop.
    "
    . Andyg


  10. #10

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    Yeah, But its a Dry heat! ;P

  11. #11

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    Were in some pretty shit now man!

    (these are quotes from the movie Aliens if anybody thinks were losing the plot :-)
    Last edited by 10 ball; 08-05-2011 at 11:37 AM.
    "we reach for the stars, forever looking to the heavens, our minds filled with wonder and the glory of the cosmic all; stretching the boundries of human knowledge and securing the solar system for the Human Species out there beyond the final frontier so one day our decendants will be as gods!
    You hold our hands so we don't blunder into things........and do the photo shop.
    "
    . Andyg


  12. #12

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    gutted, hope you finish them off. don't forget to chop off the heads and leave them as a warning to others!!

    bloody butterflies and caterpillars are ripping my plants to shreds
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  13. #13

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    ITS THE ONLY WAY TO DEAL WITH AN INFESTATION

    Last edited by cassar; 08-05-2011 at 06:21 PM.
    LAAARRFF, I SPLIT MY SIDES!!

    cassar [demigod] |ˈdemēˌgäd|
    noun ( fem. demigoddess |ˈdemēˌgädis| )
    a being with partial or lesser divine status, such as a minor deity, the offspring of a god and a mortal, or a mortal raised to divine rank.
    • a person who is greatly admired or feared.
    ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: translating Latin semideus .

    on a serious note, i do commissions, no really i do, ask and ye shall receive


  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kathrynloch View Post
    Oh these things are big and UGLY!!!
    Did someone call me?
    When you sprayed for the ground hornets you did not kill the parasitic wasps. The parasitic wasp is not a nest making creature. Although spraying and dusting sevin is an effective solution it does kill beneficial insects too. So that would be a problem if you went and sprayed the whole yard. For control of any caterpillar I would suggest a product with Bt, bracillis thuringiensis, it's a bacteria that basically destroys the beast from the gut out when he eats a leaf that has been sprayed. It only effects caterpillars so if you are spraying your veggies their is no need to worry. Although in hind site manually pulling off the 6 hungry mowers and squashing them would probably have been the easiest solution.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by uglybug View Post
    Did someone call me?
    When you sprayed for the ground hornets you did not kill the parasitic wasps. The parasitic wasp is not a nest making creature. Although spraying and dusting sevin is an effective solution it does kill beneficial insects too. So that would be a problem if you went and sprayed the whole yard. For control of any caterpillar I would suggest a product with Bt, bracillis thuringiensis, it's a bacteria that basically destroys the beast from the gut out when he eats a leaf that has been sprayed. It only effects caterpillars so if you are spraying your veggies their is no need to worry. Although in hind site manually pulling off the 6 hungry mowers and squashing them would probably have been the easiest solution.
    lol! Thanks uglybug. Well, that's what my neighbor ended up doing, pulling them off and uh....disposing of them. UGH! I'm so glad he takes care of the yard - YUK! Unfortunately he missed one and it managed to take out the rest of the plant by the next day. I walked out and it was using a little branch like a straw. He got that one too. But I think this plant might be tough, I spotted some new growth on it...just a couple of tiny budding leaves at the very top. But hopefully it will come back.

  16. #16

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    dont worry those plants do grow fast. throw some balanced fertilizer on them or some well aged manure (1 year or more) around the base and watch it take off. Btw for the longest time i thought that horse in your avatar was real as in living, great job.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by uglybug View Post
    Btw for the longest time i thought that horse in your avatar was real as in living, great job.
    Thank you! You just made my day!

    Thanks for the advice! I'll see what I can do...maybe run to the barn and hit the compost pile.

  18. #18
    Brushlicker noneedforaname's Avatar
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    I would suggest stop running BEFORE you hit the manure pile.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by noneedforaname View Post
    I would suggest stop running BEFORE you hit the manure pile.
    Depends on if anythings chasing me.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by kathrynloch View Post
    Depends on if anythings chasing me.
    I'd still recommend a sharp right if possible...
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

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