What is eating my cukes? - Knowledgebase Question

Stratford, Co
Avatar for kevinmkenned
Question by kevinmkenned
August 1, 2010
Something is eating the leaves and one of the cukes. It is small enough to fit through the 4X4 inch fencing. Yesterday it ate all of my lettuce plants during the daylight hours. I have wood chucks but don't see how they could get in and there's no evidence of burrowing.

Answer from NGA
August 1, 2010
Have you inspected your plants for caterpillars? They have voracious appetites and are sometimes hard to see because they can be the color of the stems and leaves of your plants. Carefully check over each leaf and also look for frass (bug poop). Caterpillars leave little black pellets on the ground where they feed. Another culprit might be slugs or snails. They, too, can feed voraciously and wipe out tender leaves in a matter of hours. They hide in cool, dark places and mostly feed at night or on cloudy days. Bt (bacillus thuringensis) which is sold as Dipel or Thuricide will take care of the caterpillars; Sluggo, an iron based snail and slug bait, will take care of slugs and snails. And, of course, beetles can do the same damage you describe. Check for beetles - if you find any, Rotenone will take care of them. Good luck with your garden!

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