reneeleann
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Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:13 pm
Location: Cedar Park, TX

Black fuzzy caterpillar eating my pumkin plants

I am in Austin, TX and we have been trying to grow pumkins this Fall but they seem to never produce. We have been finding what looks like chewed up baby food where the leaves branch off the stem so we knew we had a pest. We found it today and it is a black and yellow fuzzy caterpillar.It is mainly black with yellow down its sides. Does anyone know what this is and how to organically control them for next year? [img]https://campeltesoro.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/dscn00461.jpg[/img]

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Kisal
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It's the larva of one of the Tiger moths, but I'm not at all certain which one. :lol:

I personally lean toward it being the larva of the Salt Marsh moth (Estigmene acrea), but there are others that are similar.

[url=https://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Estigmene+acrea#https://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/saltmarsh_caterpillar.htm]This page[/url] has some information about the beastie.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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rainbowgardener
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As noted in the article Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis sold under names like Thuricide) is effective against most caterpillar/ worm type creatures (but does not infect/ harm earthworms). It is a bacterial disease that is specific to these creatures and harmless to everyone else.

Otherwise if you don't have a major infestation and are vigilant, you can just hand pick them off and dispose of them.
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reneeleann
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:13 pm
Location: Cedar Park, TX

Thank you

Thank you everyone. He is so pretty I cant bare to discard him because he is so large, but my koi love it when I feed them bugs that invade my garden. Next year I will be on the look out.

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