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Old 06-13-2011, 11:26 PM   #1
laneg004
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Default Caterpillars eating my hops

I have maybe 50 or 60 of these little black caterpillars on my Zeus hops.


http://www.lanegillespie.com/hops.jpg

I'm in Maine. Can anyone identify them? Should I spray w/ neem oil or just leave them alone?

Thank you!



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Old 06-13-2011, 11:29 PM   #2
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Time to break out the big guns. nuke em. nasty looking little suckers arent they.



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Old 06-14-2011, 12:32 AM   #3
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I think these are Eastern Comma butterfly larva also known as the Hop Merchant. Can anyone suggest what to spray with?

Neem Oil? BT? Sevin? Something else?

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Old 06-14-2011, 12:52 AM   #4
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Use Sevin. It will kill them.

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Old 06-14-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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Neem oil works great als, pluss it is "organic"

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Old 06-15-2011, 12:12 PM   #6
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I have a friend who is a doctoral organic horticulturalist and I was told to use BTK (Bacillus Thuringiensis, subspec. Kurstaki). I just sprayed yesterday and I await the results. She told me it will "rip their guts out". =)

I didn't use Sevin because it's not organic, it would have killed all insects, including any beneficial ones like lady bugs. And because since I won't be washing the hops, the Sevin could end up in the beer they'll be used to make.

The BTK seemed like the best choice since its only going to kill the harmful caterpillars I'm targeting and because it is harmless to humans (and dogs).

I got the BTK concentrate at homedepot for around $6. It is an 8oz container which is enough to mix up around 5 gallons of spray.

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Old 08-02-2011, 03:35 PM   #7
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I just found these same little jerks on my Willamette hops this morning. I sprayed with Shultz's three-way Garden Safe. How did your eradication go Laneg?

The battle begins!

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Old 08-02-2011, 04:18 PM   #8
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SPRAY THE CRAP OUT OF THEM!!! I lost about 10 palm-sized leaves last year in 8 hours. SPRAY, SPRAY SPRAY!!!

This was full of huge leaves when I left for work. Picture taken later that day ~5p.

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Old 08-03-2011, 11:54 AM   #9
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Luckily I wasn't working yesterday and spent the day spraying when I caught them in the morning. By evening I had only lost two leaves with a bunch of holes in about eight or ten others AND none of these little creepies. I'll check again today, but the battle to save my willamettes may be going my way!

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Old 08-03-2011, 01:39 PM   #10
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Victory is mine!!

The key was catching these pests early and taking action right away.

In addition to spraying with the Shultz insecticidal mix, later in the day I sprayed underneath the leaves with the hose to knock off any remaining munchers. I know the spray is organic, but I hate to use anything really. Next year I'll buy some lady beetle larvae early on.

While it was heartbreaking to see these pests at first, once I realized last night that I had them under control; it was a little fun finding them, learning how to take care of them, and getting rid of them.



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