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Post  doneal on 4/20/2012, 8:35 pm

Have any of you used BT? Or what are your recommendations to keep out cutworms and other destructive pest? I really don’t want to use pesticides in my garden.
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Post  AvaDGardner on 4/20/2012, 8:43 pm

I've not use BT.

My first line of defense is to avoid the fliers that lay the eggs. Floating row covers come to mind. Eggs take 3-5 days to hatch. Seek and destroy egg masses!

Unless you are working on your garden, as I am. My current problem is the green cabbage worm, and I use plastic tabs to ward off the moth (see my thread for pics & info). It lands on more than cole crops! So far, it's working great.

My go-to product is DE (diatamaceous earth), which is ground up fossils. It's organic, and natural, and too gritty for almost anything to want to be on it. Roly-Polys, sow bugs, grub larvae (cutworm, armyworm & more), etc. They don't like it at all!

Of course, you'll make extra sure you wash that berry before you pop it in your mouth!

Ava
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Post  kbb964 on 4/20/2012, 8:52 pm

Hmm, I need to know what to do with cut worms too! they were in the soil, grass where i placed the SFg's . I worry they are gonna work their way up to my babies! I am thinking nematodes. God I hate bugs n things. Something landed on my arm today whilst i was in the yard UGH!

I might get some DE , was reading up on it the other day. So much to learn
I never had a problem when i just used pots


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Post  Lindacol on 4/20/2012, 11:05 pm

@doneal wrote:Have any of you used BT? Or what are your recommendations to keep out cutworms and other destructive pest? I really don’t want to use pesticides in my garden.



I used it several times last year for tomato hornworms and squash vine borers. Really worked especially on the hornworms. I bought it in powder form from HD. Mixed it according to directions in a gallon hand pump sprayer and sprayed all the plants each time I saw a hornworm (maybe 3 times), then I would find dead, drying up worms for a couple of days, then no more for quite a while.
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Post  elliephant on 4/21/2012, 9:30 am

I use BT regularly and have been quite happy with it.
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Post  donnainzone5 on 4/21/2012, 12:13 pm

kbb964,

I use Sluggo Plus for pillbugs, snails, slugs, earwigs, and cutworms. It's probably more expensive than DE, and it's safe for people and animals.
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Post  kbb964 on 4/21/2012, 1:55 pm

cheers! I saw that at the store today ............
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Post  Windmere on 5/6/2014, 2:54 pm

Does anyone have a particular brand of BT that they find to be the best?  I  preparing for summer veggies and I want to be ready!
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Post  Windmere on 5/6/2014, 4:31 pm

I should have posted this link in my last comment regarding "which is best brand."

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dlawngarden&field-keywords=bt

These are my choices since I intend to use an Amazon gift card.  Thanks all for your comments Smile
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Post  Pollinator on 5/6/2014, 7:47 pm


The good thing about Bt, is that it is safe for bees and most other beneficial insects. Many of the "organic" pesticides are still dangerous to bees. DE, for example, will kill bees, so be sure not to use it on anything that is in bloom.
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Post  GloriaG on 5/6/2014, 7:47 pm

Windmere, 

Personally, I would go with the Safer Caterpillar Killer (not the soap) or the Southern AG Thuricide HPC.  Follow the mixing directions carefully and make sure to add a "spreader-sticker" to the sprayer.  I use a few drops of baby shampoo - it's better than dishsoap.

Hope this helps.
Gloria
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Post  Windmere on 5/6/2014, 11:48 pm

@Pollinator wrote:
The good thing about Bt, is that it is safe for bees and most other beneficial insects. Many of the "organic" pesticides are still dangerous to bees. DE, for example, will kill bees, so be sure not to use it on anything that is in bloom.
Thanks for the response Pollinator.  It means a lot that you endorse this type of product.  I would hate to kills bees.  Hornworms on the other hand....
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Post  Windmere on 5/6/2014, 11:53 pm

@GloriaG wrote:Windmere, 

Personally, I would go with the Safer Caterpillar Killer (not the soap) or the Southern AG Thuricide HPC.  Follow the mixing directions carefully and make sure to add a "spreader-sticker" to the sprayer.  I use a few drops of baby shampoo - it's better than dishsoap.

Hope this helps.
Gloria
Gloria, thanks for your input.  I was leaning towards the Southern AG.  I missed the part in the product descripition about spreader sticker, so your highlighting it was very helpful.  I REALLY like that I can use a liquid soap, like baby shampoo, instead of buying something special.  I don't have any baby shampoo (I can easily get it of course), but I do have some Dr. Bonner's Peppermint Soap on hand.  Do you think that might work well?
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Post  GloriaG on 5/7/2014, 12:55 am

Hi Windmere,

I would think that the Dr. Bonner's is fine.  It just can't be a detergent, which is why dishsoap isn't good.  BTW - using a spreader-sticker is a good idea any time you use a spray you want to really cover, like neem oil. 

Good luck,
Gloria
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Post  H_TX_2 on 5/7/2014, 11:21 am

I use BT because it is supposed to be only harmful to caterpillar type pests. It will not harm bees, lady bugs, pill bugs, grasshoppers or anything else.

I have some DE but I would never use it in the garden. From what I know it will not harm people or animals only insects. The real problem is that it will harm all insects. It is great for places like garages, under sinks behind refrigerators because as long as it doesn't get wet it will remain effective and kill all insects. I just don't want something like that in my garden; I try to use things that are more specific at killing only the pests that are a problem right now.

Over the years my garden has attracts lots on toads and lizards. I like that as it is more natural and why I don't want to destroy all bugs entering my garden.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/7/2014, 11:26 am

Windmere, I use Dr. B's in my vinegar/salt grass/weed killer.  Works fine!
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Post  Windmere on 5/7/2014, 1:38 pm

C_TX_2 wrote:I use BT because it is supposed to be only harmful to caterpillar type pests. It will not harm bees, lady bugs, pill bugs, grasshoppers or anything else.

I have some DE but I would never use it in the garden. From what I know it will not harm people or animals only insects. The real problem is that it will harm all insects. It is great for places like garages, under sinks behind refrigerators because as long as it doesn't get wet it will remain effective and kill all insects. I just don't want something like that in my garden; I try to use things that are more specific at killing only the pests that are a problem right now.

Over the years my garden has attracts lots on toads and lizards. I like that as it is more natural and why I don't want to destroy all bugs entering my garden.
Thanks for the tips!
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Post  Windmere on 5/7/2014, 1:43 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Windmere, I use Dr. B's in my vinegar/salt grass/weed killer.  Works fine!
Marie, it's interesting that you mention the vinegar.  I've read that spraying poison ivy with boiling hot vinegar will kill it (permanently if it gets into soil).  Perhaps I will add some soap to it.  I know that you cannot grow anything there for quite a while afterwards, so you have to be careful about where you do this.
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Post  Turan on 5/7/2014, 2:02 pm

Just a reminder that catipillars are an important part of the ecosystem feeding a lot of birds especially.  Some of them turn into wonderful butterflys as well. 

Not that I am pleading for mercy for cabbage moths though maybe a bit for humming bird moths and swallowtail butterflys.  Laughing

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Post  Windmere on 5/7/2014, 2:58 pm

You are so right Turan.  I am primarily after those wretched hornworms.  But, my daughter has a tender heart and often asks me to relocate them. In that case, Daddy is powerless.  Don't worry, my daughter will see to it that some birds might
have a feast, depending on whether she catches one to raise herself.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/7/2014, 5:49 pm

Interesting, Windmere.  I hadn't heard about that...

I do know that salt will eventually kill the vegetation permanently.  NOTHING will be able to grow there.  That's why I'm just using it on the fence lines and a very narrow band around the beds.  Supposedly the soap helps the salt & vinegar to hold onto the leaves, etc.

Last year I sacrificed all of my parsley to caterpillar moths.  I believe they were yellow swallowtails.  But one day they all disappeared.  Afraid they turned into someone's breakfast...
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Post  H_TX_2 on 5/8/2014, 11:51 am

@Turan wrote:Just a reminder that catipillars are an important part of the ecosystem feeding a lot of birds especially.  Some of them turn into wonderful butterflys as well. 

Not that I am pleading for mercy for cabbage moths though maybe a bit for humming bird moths and swallowtail butterflys.  Laughing

I thought butterflies are more specific to the type of plant they lay their eggs on and if you don't have that type of plant you don't have t worry about the caterpillar being a butterfly. It seems the bad guys are more accepting in their types of plants they will lay eggs on; not all but in general.

The few times I have looked up butterfly caterpillars they usually seem to be more colorful and pretty compared to the pest caterpillars which are more plain greens and browns. If it is in my garden and it isn't pretty it is dead. I tend to get the same looking caterpillars again and again.
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Post  Turan on 5/8/2014, 9:46 pm

@H_TX_2 wrote:
@Turan wrote:Just a reminder that catipillars are an important part of the ecosystem feeding a lot of birds especially.  Some of them turn into wonderful butterflys as well. 

Not that I am pleading for mercy for cabbage moths though maybe a bit for humming bird moths and swallowtail butterflys.  Laughing

I thought butterflies are more specific to the type of plant they lay their eggs on and if you don't have that type of plant you don't have t worry about the caterpillar being a butterfly. It seems the bad guys are more accepting in their types of plants they will lay eggs on; not all but in general.

The few times I have looked up butterfly caterpillars they usually seem to be more colorful and pretty compared to the pest caterpillars which are more plain greens and browns. If it is in my garden and it isn't pretty it is dead. I tend to get the same looking caterpillars again and again.

Horn worms grow into hummingbird moths.  The big caterpillars on carrots and dill and parsley grow into swallowtail butterflies.  I like both.
But then I am weird, I don't really mind the cabbage moths either.  I pick them off early in the season and then let it go.

I am not advocating allowing horn worms to eat your tomatoes, just remember what they are and their place in the ecosystem.  Maybe plant a Matt's Wild cherry tomato or a tomatillos or pansys off in the corner for them.  There are lots of parasitic wasps that will thank you and who knows who else and you might see a few amazing humming bird moths.

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Post  Brenda Whitfield on 6/1/2014, 7:26 pm

@AvaDGardner wrote:I've not use BT.

My first line of defense is to avoid the fliers that lay the eggs. Floating row covers come to mind. Eggs take 3-5 days to hatch. Seek and destroy egg masses!

Unless you are working on your garden, as I am. My current problem is the green cabbage worm, and I use plastic tabs to ward off the moth (see my thread for pics & info). It lands on more than cole crops! So far, it's working great.

My go-to product is DE (diatamaceous earth), which is ground up fossils. It's organic, and natural, and too gritty for almost anything to want to be on it. Roly-Polys, sow bugs, grub larvae (cutworm, armyworm & more), etc. They don't like it at all!

Of course, you'll make extra sure you wash that berry before you pop it in your mouth!

Ava
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Post  cpl100 on 6/1/2014, 9:24 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Interesting, Windmere.  I hadn't heard about that...

I do know that salt will eventually kill the vegetation permanently.  NOTHING will be able to grow there.  That's why I'm just using it on the fence lines and a very narrow band around the beds.  Supposedly the soap helps the salt & vinegar to hold onto the leaves, etc.

Last year I sacrificed all of my parsley to caterpillar moths.  I believe they were yellow swallowtails.  But one day they all disappeared.  Afraid they turned into someone's breakfast...
Do I understand you correctly?  If I have an area where I absolutely do not want any vegetation, can I pour salt on the area and it will kill existing vegetation and prevent it's regrowth?  How established can the vegetation be (and how large)?  For example, would it kill a shrub or only small weeds?  How long does this mass killing require?
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