Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: save the genista broom moth OR not?

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Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
May 13, 2012 9:09 AM CST
the cats are on my baptisia. and i can't find anything on the moth. is it native? does is do good things? they won't hurt my big plant and will let them stay if somebody can convince me it's the right thing to do. they make it look bad is all.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
May 13, 2012 6:51 PM CST
We had an unprecedented number of genista moth caterpillars on many Texas Mountain Laurels this spring. They are gone now. Don't know about the baptisia, They only made some parts of the TML'S look bad. But the plants are fine (they're pretty tough). I'm cutting them back a bit. The moths go through their life cylce every spring and then are gone until the next spring here. I just don't have any experience with baptisias, so not sure if they could survive the caterpillars or not.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
May 15, 2012 7:08 PM CST
linda what i really want to know is does the moth give us anything of value? i'd just as soon not have them but if they are good for something i want to keep them. i couldn't find one thing they were good for is why i am asking.
Name: Sandy Coffman
Jacksonville, Florida
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida Dog Lover
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wren
May 16, 2012 5:23 PM CST
Bird food???
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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LindaTX8
May 16, 2012 5:51 PM CST
Good question and I don't really know all that much about the moths. I struggle with this all the time as far as a lot of species of insects. Humans often get to make decisions about whether to kill insects that are eating their plants...or those eating other insects or larval forms of insects. Live or die? Just because we have the power to kill them. Personally I try to stay organic and to kill as few insects as possible, but feel I have to kill some from time to time. When certain beetles and their larva were killing and severely threatening my milkweed plants last year, I had no problem with picking off every single one I could find and killing them. I lost too many milkweed plants last year and the milkweed are food for the Queen and Monarch caterpillars, so I made that decision...because I love those butterflies. I also kill aphids if there are too many of them. Mosquitos, fleas, ticks...I have no problem with killing them on occasion. But I left the Genista moths alone, even though there were LOTS of them and the damage was more than I'd ever seen before. I knew they'd be gone after a while and the Texas Mountain Laurels would be okay, so I made that decision. Also, I didn't kill the 8-Spotted Forrester Moth, even though they stripped foliage of both wild grapevines and Virginia Creepers. Good point, Sandy...at least some things are able to eat those excessive amounts of Genista caterpillars!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Sandy Coffman
Jacksonville, Florida
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida Dog Lover
Birds Butterflies Amaryllis Seed Starter Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder
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wren
May 16, 2012 6:25 PM CST
I wish I has something that would eat the Virginia Creeper around here
Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
May 16, 2012 7:28 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing some things do just grow too well.

thanks for your honest opinion linda. it's good advice. i guess i'll let the danged things stay. dadgum it. come on birds. lol
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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LindaTX8
May 16, 2012 8:28 PM CST
BTW, I read somewhere that the legume foliage that the Genista caterpillars eat are said to be toxic. If so, the birds may spits the caterpillars out or avoid them. Oh, lordy!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
Jun 2, 2012 8:43 PM CST
i had some seedlings from twilite prairieblue seeds. they even got on those but i think even those will recover. baptisia doesn't live in texas for nothing. lol.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
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LindaTX8
Jun 2, 2012 9:50 PM CST
Texas tough! Now you know something is tough when it's Texas tough!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
Jun 3, 2012 9:41 AM CST
lol. i got some new penstemon this year. supposed to be good in the heat. well i'm gone find that out for sure.

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