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hello, what kind of bug is this

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by missing on May 21, 2005 05:55 AM

i posted a picture of the catepillar on, i found the bug on my cucumber plant, any ideas of what it is and how to kill it organically, or with something so i can maintain my organic status with my vegetables

thank you

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by Meg on May 21, 2005 04:17 PM
hi mc. I'm not sure what kind of caterpillar it is, but I'd be worried too. Caterpillars have a nasty reputation for eating all the green they can Maybe someone will come along who can specifically id it for you.. we have a few pretty knowledgeable folks here.


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by weezie13 on May 21, 2005 06:47 PM
Hey, I PM'd Buglady, she's probably kinda busy
this time of year, but hopin' she'll take a swing thru....
*Meg, I asked her for your bug too*


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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
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by Longy on May 21, 2005 11:51 PM
Here are a few suggestions to remove caterpillars organically.
What you already did is easily the most organic method, just handpick them off. One is not a problem, one thousand is a problem. I find this a relaxing way to spend 10 minutes every few days or so.

Dust the plant with plain flour. This bloats them and acts as a stomach poison.

Use Dipel dust.

Spray with pyrethrum and pestoil. Be aware that this may also kill bees and flies which are pollinating your cucumbers. It is a contact poison.
Also, be aware that caterpillars are most likely to eat the leaves so if there are only a few of them no big deal.

Encourage birds in your garden. Birds eat caterpillars, if you have a water supply nearby they are more likely to forage in your garden. Same goes for wasps, spiders and hoverflies.

You could cover the plant with a mosquito net and this will keep all the bugs out. However you'll have to hand pollinate and that's more tedious than picking the bugs off.

Ensure your plants have a good supply of potassium (potash) in the soil. This helps build cell walls and toughens the leaves making them unpalatable to insects. Potassium deficiency can be seen when the cucumber get a tapered shape like they are small at one end. This is most likely toward the end of the season.

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