Thread: Hornworm Horror
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Old March 7, 2018   #36
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Georgia, 8a/7b
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Originally Posted by hovermother22 View Post
I'm in a suburb near Chicago and had my worst year ever with hornworms. I probably had close to 40, maybe even more. I have a plot that I rent on a farm, and there are no tobacco plants nearby. I was constantly hunting and picking them off. I think 2016 was the first time we had them. I'm hoping because this winter was slightly colder it will kill some of them off. At least I feel more prepared now in terms of what to look for to limit the damage.
Spraying bT is the option I choose in dealing with these. Works like a charm. For those unfamiliar with it, bT is bacillus Thuringiensis. It is a naturally occurring bacterium in the soil and used for biological control of all kinds of worm-like critters, from hornworms and cabbage loopers to webworms, etc. There is also a variation to deal specifically with Colorado Potato Beetles (bT var. san diego).

It is non-toxic to humans. I know about when hornworms show up, start watching for them and start a bi-weekly spray schedule when the first one shows up. When that first diamondback moth (white with two black dots on the wings) starts fluttering over the cole crops, I start a preventative spray on them too for cabbage loopers.

You can usually find it in the big box stores or local feed & seed in a liquid concentrate under the commercial names of DiPel or Thuricide. I've also seen a dust under the name WormWhipper. Just check the ingredients and make sure bT is the active ingredient.

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