Worms in my Butterfly Bush - HELP!

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by BeachyGal, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. BeachyGal

    BeachyGal Member

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    My Black Knight is suffering from decimation by tiny grey worms that imbed in the base of the leaves around the bud base. They leave a sticky black liquid and wither the leaves and destroy the bud. What are they and how do I eradicate them? Thanks!
     
  2. beezootoo

    beezootoo Member

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    I have the same problem. I took it to a nursery today and the gardner/owner told me that it looked like aphid damage (even though he admitted that he didn't see any). Aphids do not look like little, light gray worms :-) Help me too!
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Up here the question is becoming how to eradicate butterfly bush. Maybe send some of those larvae to us.

    Try the resources of California Cooperative Extension to find out what you have and what to do about it.
     
  4. BeachyGal

    BeachyGal Member

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    Gosh, eliminate this beautiful flora and source of nourishment for butterflies?

    You can come hand strip the ugly little worms if you want 'em. And NO they are NOT aphids!

    Most likely some moth or beetle larvae is my guess.

    Thanks for the tip on the CCE. Will check it out.
     
  5. BeachyGal

    BeachyGal Member

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    Okay, the CCE had the varmint.

    It is definitely the Fruittree leafroller, Archips argyrospila. A moth as I suspected!

    Curiously, they are in the buddleia and not the nearby plum.

    Apparently once this crop of larvae goes- it is over. Next Spring I will use the product they recommend - Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)- to limit their predation.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    That's great that you found out what the bug was so quickly.

    >Gosh, eliminate this beautiful flora and source of nourishment for butterflies?<

    In the United States, butterfly bush has naturalized in
    California
    ...

    It is particularly problematic along riverbanks and
    gravel bars where it forms dense thickets that crowd out native
    vegetation and disrupts natural succession patterns. It may also
    alter soil nutrient concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen,
    at least in the short term.
    Studies in New Zealand indicate that initial densities of
    butterfly bush seedlings in streambeds can be quite high—
    several million seedlings per hectare in one example. The
    population thins itself in about 10 years to about 2,500 adult
    plants per hectare.
    Once established, this shrub is difficult to eradicate from an
    area

    http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/tcweeds/weeds/fact-sheets/Butterfly-bush.pdf
     
  7. BeachyGal

    BeachyGal Member

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    Unfortunate beauty, they.

    According to the CCE, the worms mangle and deform but they don't destroy. So siccing them on to the areas you want to control probably won't do the trick.

    Good luck with your program and thanks again for the great advice!
     
  8. gardengirl14

    gardengirl14 Member

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    Wow- I am so glad I found you. I have been looking all over the internet to figure this out. The worms started last year and I kept them at bay by picking them off and using soapy water. This year it's worse. They don't seem to spread onto any other plants, but they are destroying all of the buds!
     
  9. BeachyGal

    BeachyGal Member

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    THe worms have abated now but I will be vigilant next Spring when they return and tke the advice of the CCE. Good luck!
     

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