Lorri
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Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

I only planted my garden about a week ago, because of weather. So far, everything was looking good, then a few minutes ago I spotted one of my melons wilted. It looked fine, only wilted. So, I cut it open and I found white worms. What do I do? Is there a way to save the rest of my plants if I have more of them? thank you, Lorri D
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Lorri
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

I think I may be narrowing it down to either SVB or some kind of maggot. Maybe either cabbage maggot or corn seed maggots. Lorri D

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applestar
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

Is it segmented? SVB is fat and segmented. Can't quite tell in your photo. But sudden wilting and collapse, with something squirmy in the base of stem sure sounds like a squash vine borer. :evil:

Could it possibly be pickleworm? ...but they generally go after blossom buds and fruits, I think....
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Lorri
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

Hi, it is segmented, but not deeply. Just very fine lines. thank you, Lorri D

Lorri
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

Hi, he Home Depot guy says that it is seed corn maggots. He says that people have been in the store for weeks buying things to get rid of them and the plants in the ground are the most susceptible. I have the time and all of my plants I raised from seed are not replaceable at any local nursery, so I have been pulling the wilted plants out of the ground and de-maggotting them... Don't ask...Lol. I then tried to replant them, but they wilted right away again. So, I have brought them back inside and stuck them into some DE and they are perky, but pale. They may be stunted beyond getting anything out of them, but I plan on trying to replant them again if they make it and regrow enough roots to support them in the soil. Lorri D
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applestar
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

Thanks for the follow-up. Good luck with your plants -- hope they get back on track. :bouncey:
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Cola82
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

Those maggots remind me a lot of the kinds of worms that killed my kale last year, but they were 7" or more when they died. :/

I'm still kind of sore about it, so I was hoping these guys were the answer. I can't see any resources saying whether they ever attack reasonably mature plants in planters, though. Seems unlikely.

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skiingjeff
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

Something else to think about for when you want to replant them. If you are going to plant in the same location, the maggots are probably going to still be in the soil or the now adult bugs hanging around to re-infest your plants. :twisted: You need to either plant somewhere else or treat the area to get rid of the larvae and bugs.

Some folks buy beneficial nematodes and use them in the ground to get rid of the larvae. Not sure what you think of using them. We used them for the first time this year as a preventative measure in the ground because last year we had root maggot problems with our cauliflower. So far, so good :-()

I plan to do another dosing with them in June. I'm sure there are other ways the folks on the forum have to treat the area as well.

Good luck! :)

Lorri
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

I hadn't thought of that. I have used them once a few years ago and I think they did help. I have also used nemotocidal marigolds and they also worked too. This is a new garden and we struggled to get it ready for this year. I have just moved a few hundred miles north of where I was prior about 4 weeks ago. From very Southern Oregon to the Portland area. I have lots of new bugs and weather to get figured out. After I took them out, I turned the soil and let it dry out and added DE. I will have to source out a place to find the nematodes up here. Thank you for the suggestion. Lorri D

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skiingjeff
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

If you can't find a local place, Arbicco Organics sells them online and ships them 2 day air so they arrive healthy and well.

Good Luck! :)

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grrlgeek
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

I had the exact same thing happen to a couple of my cukes and melons. I pulled a couple more, unnecessarily it turned out, because they were also wilty but not infested. I read a lot about SVB, but they didn't look anything like that, and according to the extension websites I visitied, we don't have them on the west coast. I have been trying to figure out what they are, but I can only look at bugs for so long before getting the heebie-jeebies. I got as far as cabbage root maggot, but they feed on roots, and nothing said they get into the stems, or also hit curcubits. I'm getting more immune to bug literature, but still had not ID'd these yet, so thank you so much for your diligence in finding the answer!

I found exactly 5 of the little maggots in each plant that had them. Here's the haul from the first day:
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I planted new seeds directly in the ground to replace the ones lost. The ones that got hit were indoor-started transplants, trying to get a jump on the season, but I'm really not that far behind with the newly sprouted plants. According to this article, - https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publications/E-30.pdf - it's the early starts that are most vulnerable. Patience is the hardest thing for me to learn though!

Wow, I am really impressed by the way you saved your plants. I didn't know that could be done and if these nasties come again, I will definitely try it!
Zone - USDA 8b / Sunset 11

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applestar
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Re: Oh No!!!! Bad Bug/worm

Oh interesting! I didn't get the chance to research further about this pest yesterday, but when I read the link grrlgeek posted, I realized it was these guys that ate the last tray of pre germinated and sown in pint-size containers of melon and squash seeds when I was doing the pre-germinated cucurbit experiment. About a dozen containers failed to sprout so I dug around in the potting mix and found maggots in the seeds, and rice sized brown pupae in the soil in some cases.

I had been setting the tray outside loosely covered with a sheet of bubble wrap in the sun to warm up, so I guess the flies found them and laid eggs. I was bummed because I would have had 3 more melon seedlings (I only have 3).
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