Worms on Columbine - Knowledgebase Question

Plainfield, NH
Avatar for carolinewil7
Question by carolinewil7
April 2, 1998
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 from NGA
April 2, 1998
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.

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.

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