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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 6:20 pm 
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We have what our neighbor has told us is a cedar tree that has lost about 2/3 of its leaves and has a ton of catepillar like bugs that are a yellowish color all over the bark and a bunch of dead ones on the ground around the tree. It looks like there are three stages: a tiny yellow worm, a tiny dark yellow catepillar and then a mustard bug that flies.

Is this going to permanently harm the tree? What is this bug and what should I do about it?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 4:26 pm 
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Never heard of mustard bugs. But since they are caterpillars there are a couple of standard treatments.

Paper wasps in the neighborhood will keep the entire population of caterpillars down to nearly invisible. They're still there but not so's you'd notice. So if you've ever been inclined to spray wasps, please reconsider. They eat all the webworms as well as tomato horn worms.

The other treatment is BT worm killer. BT is bacillis thurengiensis, a disease that only kills caterpillars. Combined with compost and occasional sprays of molasses and seaweed on the foliage, this is very effective all year against caterpillars.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:01 am 
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Thank you for replying! I will see what I can do.

As far as not knowing what mustard bugs are...I'm sure that is not their real name. We live in KS and that's just what we all grew up calling them. I did a google search and could not find the real name. The bug is a little longer than a ladybug and shaped similarly but the back is mustard colored and the wings are striped...gray? I believe that when you smush them, mustard colored stuff comes out. Not that I've done that as an adult, mind. LOL Anyway, now my curiosity is roused. What are these things called?


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