Cucumber Worms - Knowledgebase Question

Athens, GA
Question by leuhrich
January 23, 2000
Last summer, each cucumber fruit on my vines was infested with a wormy insect larvae that burrowed into the fruit. The larvae were up to 1 inch long and pale green. They seem to have come in from a small hole on the outside of the fruit. What were they and how do I control them organically?

Answer from NGA
January 23, 2000


Your cucumbers were most likely attacked by the pickleworm. The pickleworm larva is yellow-green with numerous black spots. They bore into the side of fruits before the rind hardens and tunnel inside leaving masses of soft excrement.The fruit then rots or sours.

Sprays containing the biological control Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium that attacks only caterpillars), applied on a 5 to 7 day schedule beginning when fruits start reaching a couple of inches long, are an organic choice for controlling pickleworm.

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