Two of my four first year Cascades that *were* doing well took a hard shot today. The first caterpillar I noticed a week ago didn't do much damage. Not knowing much about this stuff, I figured it was just a fluke, not the leader of an army. This morning, the tops of these plants was perfect. 7:00 this evening, stripped. I got out there with the hose and blasted about 6-8 more off of the tops and ordered some Caterpillar Killer online. These buggers make an army-green mess when you splat them.
I know these plants are tough and will most likely rebound quickly, but any advice or tips would be very welcome. Should I prune off the areas that were damaged?
Leave them alone to recover?
Fertilize them a couple times to help with recovery?
It looks like an Eastern Comma or " Hop Merchant". They are very destructive to hop plants here in the south. I had an entire plant completely stripped of leaves in an 8 hour time period. I spray with Bt which works well against them.
I dont think you need to prune...however hitting them with a liquid 20-20-20 might help with the recovery.
Bonide Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacterium which is selectively toxic to many moth and butterfly larvae (caterpillars). The insects stop feeding and die within 2 to 3 days of ingestion. There is no residue problem, and being exempt from tolerance requirements, this product may be applied at the recommended amounts up to the day of harvest.
edit - BTW, I would think pruning your plants off the ground and setting up a physical barrier of some kind might keep them from crawling up your bines. Never tried this but I have other issues with bugs.
Yes, usually Lowe's or HD carries the BT in a bottle. I sprayed mine with Spectracide Once and Done. Mine are 1st year plants that will not be bearing this year so I wasn't worried about the spray effects. I had the exact same catepillar attack my three little plants.