Ask a Question forum: What are these worms?

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Kadin
Apr 5, 2017 8:33 AM CST
My basil are being eaten by these worms! I looked into the worm mugshots on this site, but I wasn't sure if any were a match. You may need to click and zoom in on the picture :/

Also, I've been using been oil to repel spider mites, but it doesn't seem to be working. I still see webbings left behind by the little critters.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 5, 2017 9:03 AM CST
Would you consider letting us know where this plant is growing? That may help to narrow the answer. Thank You!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Apr 5, 2017 11:59 AM CST
Kadin, I don't know exactly what type of "worm" is on your basil, but I would suggest spraying (or dusting; it comes in both forms) with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), which is sold under different names such as Dipel and Thuricide, which only affects caterpillars and not other insects, etc. Be sure to get the Bt on the underside of the plant leaves. And maybe give the plants a good "washing off" with a spray of water before using the Bt, to remove the spider mites (you may need to spray them off several times a day for a while, they thrive in warm, dry conditions).
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 5, 2017 12:30 PM CST
One thing that would be useful first before using Bt is to make sure they are caterpillars and not sawfly larvae, because Bt for caterpillars won't work on sawflies. They are too small in the pic to tell, and it's not possible to count the number of legs from the angle, but if you have magnification you may be able to tell by these pictures from Missouri Botanical Garden that show how to tell the difference:

http://www.mobot.org/gardening...

Kadin
Apr 5, 2017 2:02 PM CST
I have a raised garden bed, which I trench to add compost for red wrigglers. Located in south Florida it is humid and hot.

In regards to the spider mites, are you saying I should be spraying neem oil several times a day? I thought that would burn my plants.

I went to inspect my basil at 4 pm and couldn't find a single worm, they may only be active early in the morning or at night.

I'll keep you posted on any other information I can find out. Thanks for your contributions.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Weedwhacker
Apr 5, 2017 4:12 PM CST
Good thought about the sawfly larvae, Sue!

Kadin, I meant spraying with just water; that's always been pretty effective for me with spider mite infestations.
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Name: Nita Porterfield
Boerne, Texas (Zone 8b)
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shaggya
Apr 9, 2017 9:20 AM CST
I spray liquid seaweed weekly to prevent spider mites. Also, make sure you have adequate room for air circulation around each plant and don't over water. If spider mites set in, it's very difficult to get rid of them.
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