There are many kinds of budworms including tobacco, petunia, spruce and geranium. All are bad in that they’ll target the flowering buds of most any innocent plant like roses. The good news is they’re easy to control once identified.
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BUDWORM LIFE CYCLE ^
Budworms are the larval stage of a small moth which will live it’s life on flowering plants. The adult stage (moth) will be found lingering around plants they want to target. On these plants female moths will lay eggs and these eggs will hatch every spring and summer.
From the eggs will crawl small caterpillars which feed upon the young bud of the host plant. This larvae stage can range in color from cream to tan to brown to green.
Budworm larvae will feed for 1-2 months and once they get their fill, they’ll migrate down to the ground under the host plant where they’ll pupate and emerge as the adult moth. Adults mate, lay eggs and die in late fall and early winter.
Budworm pupae will typically hatch after a month or two so most active infestations will have 2-3 generations per summer. Any pupae in the ground come the fall and winter will hibernate waiting for the new year and the new spring before they emerge.
Larvae stages are small, around 1/4″, but can grow to 1/2″ or more before pupating. Because of their small size and ability to “match” the color of their host plant, budworms can be hard to find or see. Unfortunately their damage to is easy to notice.
BUDWORM DAMAGE ^
Budworms most like to feed on young flowering buds. They’ll ravish the flower as quick as it grows causing unsightly damage and though this damage usually isn’t enough to cause the plant to die, eventually the leaves and stems of the host plant will get targeted which can lead to it’s demise. Budworms can easily feed on all parts of the host plant so when the flowers cease to emerge, the plant will be in real jeopardy of injury if left untreated.
BEST BUDWORM SPRAY ^
Fortunately budworms are easy to control. For non edible plants like jasmine or geraniums, BIFEN IT is a water based concentrate that can be applied using any standard PUMP SPRAYER and it’s very active on all budworm species. Be sure to treat all parts of the plant as well as the ground underneath. This insures you’ll get any migrating budworms that are on their way to the soil to pupate.
Pump Sprayer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/good/pump-sprayers
ORGANIC BUDWORM SPRAY ^
If the host plant will yield fruit, vegetables or if it’s a species you’ll harvest like the tobacco plant, use an organic gardening approved product like MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER. This concentrate can safely be applied to any plant that will yield fruits or vegetables yet it’s strong enough to take care of most any pest including budworms.
Organic Insect Killer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/organic/liquid/multi-purpose-insect-killer-24-oz
ORGANIC DUST FOR BUDWORMS ^
If preferred, you can dust edible plants with BT GARDEN DUST. This dust is odorless and uses a tiny bacteria which will kill insects that ingest it. Focus your treatment on the part of the plant they’re targeting by using a HAND DUSTER or DUSTIN MIZER and apply the dust as often as is necessary. During the growing season, this could be once every 1-2 week depending on how much rain you get.
FOGGING FOR BUDWORMS ^
For large gardens, spraying or dusting may not be the best way to get adequate coverage. Any garden area over 2500 will be easier to treat by fogging with EVERGREEN PYRETHRIN. Like the organic sprays and dust listed above, Evergreen can safely be applied to any plant that will yield fruit or vegetables yet it’s strong enough to control most any insect including budworms. Treat every 1-2 weeks using a fogging machine like the FM5330, FM6309 or BACK PACK FOGGER. These devices will use a lot less material to spray so they’ll effectively pay for themselves over time. And they’ll save you a lot of time and energy since they can cover large areas rapidly.
Fogmaster Mini Fogger: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/foggers/fogmaster-5330-120-volt
Back Pack Mister: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/foggers/solo-mistblower-backpack
CONTACT US ^
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