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Unknown pest

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016 5:30 pm
by Sarahbara
Hello, I'm new to gardening and think I have bitten off more than I can chew. Now that my plants are finally coming up something is eating them! Whatever it is particularly likes my soybeans, sunflowers, and squash. But my wheat, oats, carrots, mustard greens, and scallions aren't touched. I do know that we have ants and birds, but I don't know which is attacking my food. I just need to know if I should try to cover them to keep the birds away or spray them to kill the ants. From the images, what do you guys think?
Thanks!
sprouting soybeans
sprouting soybeans
IMG_3549.JPG

Re: Unknown pest

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016 5:39 pm
by rainbowgardener
My eye isn't quite making sense of this picture. Is it just the seed leaves of the beans? Are the sunflowers and squash that are being attacked also just seedlings? If there are actual leaves being eaten, a picture of that would be helpful.

Ants really don't eat live plants. And it looks more like chew marks than bird pecks.

Image

you might have snails or slugs or some kind of caterpillar eating your baby plants.

Re: Unknown pest

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016 5:48 pm
by Sarahbara
Thanks! That's what I've heard, but I haven't seen any snails, slugs, or caterpillars in my garden. And yes, everything being eaten are just seedlings.

Re: Unknown pest

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:03 pm
by MichaelC
First step I'd try is to throw some Sluggo around and water it in. Sluggo Plus if you think there might be earwigs or such about. It can take a few days to see the results.

Re: Unknown pest

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:11 pm
by Sarahbara
Thanks for the advice. I was thinking of trying neem oil. Have you had any success with that?

Re: Unknown pest

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:29 pm
by applestar
I vote slugs, too. I believe neem cake meal is supposed to repel slugs, but I have not heard that neem oil would have the same effect on slugs.

Try going out at night with a flashlight, or early morning just after light, or looking after rain while it's still cloudy and overcast. They are nocturnal and will be much harder to find during the day. I caught a big one trying to get away on the mulch this morning, 2 inches from the raised bed border. :twisted:

Sprinkling de Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) or sharp sand all around the emerging seedling will help as well. But really sluggo is the easiest way if you are not worried about the identity of the inactive ingredients.

Re: Unknown pest

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:38 pm
by Sarahbara
Well that explains why I haven't seen them in my garden! Thanks! You guys have been very helpful. :)

Re: Unknown pest

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016 8:16 pm
by Lindsaylew82
but I have not heard that neem oil would have the same effect on slugs.
Big fat negative, Ghost Rider! But maaaaaaaaaan I wish it did! I'll have to look up these cakes, never heard of them!

I agree slugs and, Lordy Mercy, do I have a ton of them! I water with a sprinkler for about 10 minutes right around sunset. Still have about 30 minutes of useable light left. I go out with a cup of soapy water and pick them off with hemostats, but you could use your hands. I had so many a few years ago, that I switched to a rubber glove and picked them off.

Re: Unknown pest

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016 8:17 pm
by Lindsaylew82
Sluggo would prolly work better though, if you don't mind it, and it'd be a lot less frustrating, and a lot less work.