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 Post subject: Redbacked Cutworms?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:07 pm
Posts: 13
Location: ,
This morning, I noticed a bunch of caterpillar looking critters on my 2 sunflower plants. I had noticed the leaves being pretty well eaten on before, but today they were covered with these critters. I checked Howard's Texas Bug Book with no success. After about an hour or more online, I determined they MIGHT be the red backed cutworm.

However, mine seemed to be more hairy than the ones pictured online, but the rest of the description and a picture seemed about right. One batch appeared more orange and the other batch appeared more red bodied.

However, the online information seemed to indicate these critters are more prevalent up north -- say, in Canada and our most northerly states! So, what are they doing down here?

I tried posting this earlier, and tried to put a picture on here, but really had trouble. So, 2nd attempt here.

The only thing I had on hand to attack them with was DE. I heavily dusted the sunflowers, but I am sure the wind has now blown that off. This afternoon (around 3:00) there wasn't as many on the leaves as there were earlier. Too hot? No leaft left to munch on? ha ha

I would appreciate any help with this that is available.

Cutworm.jpg [ 95.3 KiB | Viewed 194 times ]

Miss Helpful
 Post subject: Re: Redbacked Cutworms?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Yes the universal organic caterpillar killer is called BT or BT Worm Killer. It is carried under several brands. BT is a bacterial disease that kills only caterpillars. It is safe for birds, fish, and mammals. Spray it on the caterpillars and they will stop feeding immediately.

David Hall
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum

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