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Bugs with tiny scissors? Empty Bugs with tiny scissors?

Post  Miss M on 4/10/2011, 2:04 am

Something is turning the leaves in the garden into paper dolls. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to care what sort of plant it's cutting on... beans and tomatoes are equally at risk. I find slits and holes in the leaves, and little bits of leaves on the MM below.

Damage on bush limas:

Bugs with tiny scissors? Cutlea10

No evidence of the culprit on the underside:

Bugs with tiny scissors? Cutlea11

Eggplant with holes:

Bugs with tiny scissors? Cutlea12

Something is happening to a couple of my peppers, too. It may be storm damage, but I'm not sure... it has some cut leaves, but then it also has some bent leaves, and some spots on leaves:

Bugs with tiny scissors? Pepper10
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Post  shannon1 on 4/10/2011, 4:26 am

Could be grass hoppers or caterpillars, maybe even flea bettles. Catapillers often leave frass (poo) behind.
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Post  acara on 4/10/2011, 9:40 am

Come back out and check at night & you'l probably find the critters (cutworms).

They head back into your soil when they aren't eating.....which is why you may not see them.

Down here in my zone, first rain in April brings them out. Here are some pics of last years infestation on cuke leaves.

Bugs with tiny scissors? Pbucket


Bugs with tiny scissors? Pbucket


As far as fixing the problem ....depends on your style of gardening & if your organic or not.

I usually use Seven dust or something nasty to nuke 'em to oblivion ..... but that may be a little heavy-handed for some peoples gardens.

I'm sure someone here can confirm/deny my "diagnosis" & give you a more earth-friendly remedy.
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Post  FarmerValerie on 4/10/2011, 9:48 am

I had grasshoppers doing that last year, some Neem Oil took care of it.
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Post  jymarino on 4/10/2011, 10:39 am

I used Sevin spray last year and sprayed it in the evening when the bees weren't active. It was effective and when it is dry it isn't supposed to harm the bees. But don't spray during the day.
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Post  Miss M on 4/10/2011, 12:27 pm

Thank you all! Now I've got a direction to pursue... I do want to make sure I don't harm the bees. We had fewer bees than usual last year, and I don't want to exacerbate that, for sure!

I will look into the Neem and the Sevin. I'm not opposed to things like Sevin, as long as I can protect the pollinators. What a Face
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Post  dizzygardener on 4/10/2011, 2:15 pm

Please don't use Sevin if you can avoid it. It kills bees by the colony! They treat it like pollen and bring it back to the hives and it kills them off.

Try BT or Dipel Dust or beneficial nematodes to deal with them. They are a lot friendly to our bees!
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Post  Miss M on 4/10/2011, 5:07 pm

Just got back from the hardware store... I had to look carefully, but I did find some Dipel dust. So I got that and a 70% Neem oil spray, and a thing of Sevin dust to keep around as a last resort.

The young man who helped me didn't appear to know what Bt or beneficial nematodes were, and steered me to the Neem oil. I kept looking, and found the Dipel dust on my own. It was not with the other natural insecticides. I saw nothing there about beneficial nematodes.

Thank y'all again!!!! Hopefully, the Dipel dust solves my cutworm issue! (If not, maybe the Neem oil will solve my grasshopper issue, if that's what it is! But I haven't seen any grasshoppers yet.)

Bugs with tiny scissors? 109486
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/10/2011, 5:16 pm

Beneficial (predatory) nematodes are available online, probably from several sources, but I know they are available through Territorial Seeds: http://www.territorialseed.com/prod_detail_list/175 (note they also carry lacewings, etc.), and from Nichols Garden Nursery:

https://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/store/product-info.php?pid290.html Good luck on your search and destroy mission.
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Post  camprn on 4/10/2011, 8:48 pm

at the following link you will find critical info about your pesticides,
Insecticide database link
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Post  Miss M on 4/10/2011, 10:35 pm

Wow! Shocked I didn't know all that was out there!

Thank you both!!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Post  Miss M on 4/11/2011, 1:20 am

I pulled up the two bell peppers that were affected... they had gotten a good deal worse. Not sure whether it was bacterial or fungal, but we didn't want it to spread. I will spray the other two with Neem oil to help prevent problems with them. We had a good deal of rain within a week, and it's been humid, so I think that may have contributed.

I'll put the Bt on the cut-up plants tomorrow evening, because it's supposed to rain tomorrow. Didn't want to put it out there, only to have to re-do. Smile
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Post  shannon1 on 4/11/2011, 3:22 am

Miss M,
I think your plan is a good one. Going out at night to see what you can find is a good idea too. If you can identify the problem think how much easier it will be to solve. Looks more like insect damage than anything else, but I could be wrong.
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