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caterpillers

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by rachel1964 on March 08, 2006 07:54 AM
they bore into the corn while it is forming and eat it while it is growing, and when harvest it there is nothing much left, how can i stop them or at least slow them down. I don't want to use any chemicals.

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rachel
by obywan59 on March 08, 2006 10:32 AM
They are called corn earworms. One way to reduce the damage from earworms is to plant a variety of corn with tighter husks that make it more difficult for the worms to make it to the corn.

You can also apply half a medicine dropper of mineral oil to the silk on each ear after the silks have wilted and begun to turn brown. The mineral oil works by suffocating the worms, but doesn't affect the taste of the corn. To make it even more effective, add some red pepper, pyrethrin, or BT(bacillus thuringiensis). Make 2 follow-up applications a week apart.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by peppereater on March 08, 2006 10:54 AM
I've heard of doing what Terry suggests...I'd go with any/all of that!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by obywan59 on March 14, 2006 10:45 AM
I just found a couple of other ideas online.

1. After the silks have begun to turn brown (indicating pollination has occurred), pull back the husks from the tips of the ears and manually remove the earworms.

2. Try using clothes pins to pinch the tips of the ears to help prevent the earworms from gaining access to the corn.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Longy on March 14, 2006 06:34 PM
If it's just a small plot, say 6 feet by 8 feet, with 20 or so plants, a double bed size mosquito net over the bed . You can break off the male flower at the top if the plants are really tall and the cobs are already pollinated. Use an old tomato stake each corner to support it and clothes pegs to hold it in position if needed. Also useful for other home garden pest exclusion too.

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