The Q&A Archives: Worms on Columbine

Question: The last couple of Springs I've noticed tiny green worms eating away at my Columbine, nothing else. They attach themselves to the leaves and stems. They're about the size of a grain of rice, maybe smaller, and when touched, curl up. I had noticed that the plants looked ill, and by the time I noticed these little worms, the plant was really not able to recover. Hence, no buds. I daily brushed off the pests and disposed of them and sprayed the plants w/detergent&water which didn't seem to help. Anything stronger damanged the plant.

Answer: There are a number of "small, green worms" that can attack flowers such as armyworms. Usually they feed for a few weeks and then pupate on the plant, often overwintering there or on occasion migrating. There can be many generations a year, dependin on the insect.<br><br>Row covers would be impractical with flowering plants. It's useful to handpick (which you have already done)or spray Bt, a biological control that attacks caterpillars family insects. You should see results in a few days after spraying.<br>

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