Thursday, April 11, 2013

The pickle worm commeth

Well, the spring garden is in full swing, and for the most part, I have been lucky with regards to pests in the garden.  I've seen a few stink bugs, but in just a few days, my summer squash is in desperate needs. I've noticed several of my squash with these tiny holes, as shown in the photo, and knew exactly what it was.... the dreaded pickle worm.  These little buggers are very difficult to deal with, since the eggs of the moth are so tiny, they are barely visible.  Here is a website, that goes into great detail about the pickle worm, and it's many attributes :-).

So, what do you do for these little creatures?  Well there isn't much to do.  I've been trying Thuricide, however in order for this to work, the larvae have to be actively eating, and what they are eating is inside the squash, so not much help there.  But I'm still going to try this, and add Pyrethrin into the mix to attempt to prevent the moth in the first place.  Row covers can work too, but then you have to open them up during the day for pollination by the bees, then cover up again in the evening before the moths are more active.

Anyone else have any further ides?  Please post comments, and give me your wisdom!

Update (9/16/14):  Ok, so I've found a great way to keep the pickle worms down.  Own chickens!  It has been my experience, that if you let the chickens out in the yard, around the garden not in it, then they are fantastic at eating all the bugs on the ground including moths, and my pickle worm problems have almost disappeared!  Now I know this isn't going to be an option for some, but its at least one method available.  I've also started using Dipel dust, which is the same bacteria found in the Thuricide, but in powered form and will last a bit longer and can get into the throats of the flowers.  The pyrethrin did help also, but this fall will tell the truth of this method too.


Pickle worm holes in squash

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