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Something has munched my plant

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33 replies to this topic

#1
max_headroom

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I was checking out my girl again tonight as last night I noticed that one of the tops had wilted, further investigation revealed there was what looked like a small piece taken out of the stem which had made it week and fall over. No sign of bugs. Further checking tonight revealed at least 4 sites,  all tops, with very similar damage about 12 cm from the top of the stem. The top in these cases was not dead but certainly wilted and dying with the one from yesterday needing removed.

 

I cut from just below the munched part and slit the stem to see what was inside. Healthy plant material was all I could find. I did find what looked likes dead eggs on a fan leaf but I don't know if its related. All my plants were treated with Dipel about 5 days ago so not sure if this is a last fighting gasp from the caterpillars. I don't actually know where to begin as I have looked and looked but can find nothing similar other than caterpillar damage.

 

Attached File  2015-01-03 002 2015-01-03 001.JPG   96.56K   10 downloads Example of what I discovered

 

Attached File  2015-01-03 002 2015-01-03 010.JPG   91.69K   8 downloads These were on the big fan leaf directly below it..Eggs? the were dry and blew off the moment I disturbed them.

 

Attached File  2015-01-03 002 2015-01-03 006.JPG   107.01K   8 downloads

 

Attached File  2015-01-03 002 2015-01-03 003.JPG   101.89K   8 downloads

 

Attached File  2015-01-03 002 2015-01-03 009.JPG   198.55K   7 downloads

 

So I took a sample from just below the the hole say at about 12cm and slit both sides only to find solid healthy plant material no bugs.

 

Does anyone know what this is and what I should do about it. Could this be residual damage from an earlier attack?

 

I am thinking about removing the damaged tops but will wait and seek advice before I do anything at this stage.


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#2
max_headroom

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Have spent a fair while looking over my Durban for insects and the only one I could wqas this

 

Attached File  15140372039.jpg   72.96K   6 downloads

 

Attached File  151403611575.jpg   56.59K   6 downloads

 

Attached File  151403731895.jpg   79.75K   6 downloads

 

Could this be the culprit or is he one of the good guys?


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#3
max_headroom

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Further looking this morning revealed another damaged top but this time there was a big green caterpillar munching on the stem(I think , he was lying over the damaged area from what I could see)

 

So this is what I am thinking I sprayed with the Dipel last week and the previous week which killed off most of the caterpillars however with the few that have survived/hatched they have been eating the sprayed plant so are slowly dying off. So is this the infants of the earlier infestation? It seems a little strange that they would only attack the top. Will continue with the spraying of Dipel and may even give the plant a dose of pyre-thrum to ensure I get them all andf anything else I don't want in there. I am going to spend some more time today going over the over the plant in the daylight to see if I can find any more of these little shits or anything else for that matter. Will then spray late today, it seems I am going to have to continue  this as part of the normal regime.

 

I would still like some opinion as to weather I am on the right track. I suspect the critter in the photo above is a spider of some sorts as he was spinning a thread out his backside when I was trying to catch him. I don't really want to kill any predators for these bugs but I am fed up with losing ground. I just think I have them beat then something like this happens.


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#4
Rhizo

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I think that debris of the leaf is shit from whatever was eating the stem. I recon it's either a grub or borer of some kind... possibly a native bush mouse or something. Have you had a look inside the holes created by this pest. If it is a bug of somekind it may still be in there.


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#5
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Hi  Rhizo I  checked out the damage and apart from the part that was eaten the rest is intact. I have taken 3 off the plant and slit the stems and as I said the damage is only on the area it was munched. I thought it may be a green caterpillar bu the most consistent thing is that the holes are all in the same place on the stem and that's at the node base. I would  have thought a caterpillar would not be so discriminative especially the green ones. If I really want to ensure I get rid of the majority of whatever is causing the damage then I made need to really slam it with the insecticide etc. I am leaning to using either the white oil or the Pyrethrum spray rather than the Dipel but I may use all three yet. The plant is well into veg and probably for at least another month so I am sure there is time for me to try a few different things prior to it flowering. I will start tonight with the Dipel and check for further damage over the next 24 hrs and if there is still new damage then I will probably go straight to the Pyrethrum spray


Edited by max_headroom, 04 January 2015 - 09:17 AM.

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#6
itchybromusic

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was going to say green caterpillar when i first saw your thread 

but at my joint they generally eat the leaves not stem 

 

they come from the white butterfly laying eggs on leaves

so keep the white butterfly off ya plant , how do you do that 

well i have no idea although my mum said she saw a lady who 

used white table tennis balls with 2 black dots drawn on them

& stuck on sticks , supposedly white butterflies are territorial

Maybe Neem Oil'em http://homeguides.sf...ants-29475.html


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#7
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Thanks for the input itchybromusic I have my large back pack sprayer all ready to go. This one has a long neck so I will be able to get under the leaves properly. The article you link to is great and I already have the BT they are talking about. Tonight the war starts I am going after these little pests again with vengeance.

 

Maybe its because the nodes will have the best caterpillar eating and when there is an abundance of food (which there is) you would expect them to take the best bits and those newly forming flowers are just the go. maybe this is why they go for the same area on the plant, apart from one area that had been about 75% eaten leaving a very thin stem,( I taped up to give it support and will have to wait and see) the rest are basically trash.  I guess I have effectively topped my plant again in 4-5 places. Maybe the end result won't be as bad as I first thought, so long as I get the bugs under control


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#8
Matanuska Thunder

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have you thought about turning those tops into clones?

ensure you 'clean up' that area too with clean cuts (after spraying)- lessons the chance of 'infections' setting in

I have a white fly problem outside too... make sure you spray the underside of the leaves... twice 

 

as an option to using chemicals , I've been having great success using a homemade (habanaro) chill oil and dish soap mixture -

spray on vegging plants only, the bugs/fly's etc don't like the chili, nor the soap 


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itchybromusic

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Edited by itchybromusic, 04 January 2015 - 02:07 PM.

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#10
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Found out something really cool this season, plant a cabbage in the middle of ur garden and it gets attacked and nothing else gets touched, pretty cool huh


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