I Found The Mystery Pest

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I Found The Mystery Pest

Postby abrogard » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:23 am

I think I posted a couple of threads looking for help on what was eating all my plants. Well I think I've found it finally. I have found a caterpillar and what I take to be aphids under a leaf and I think they're the problem.

Which one chops the leaves up in such a dramatic manner I don't know. Probably the caterpillar I suppose.

I have a series of pics on Picasa showing the total destruction they've been wreaking on my young plants. And so quickly. I put them in today and they're rubbish two days later.

The second last of the pics shows what I usually find under the leaves when I look: nothing.

But the final pic shows what I found today. Why it's not usual to find these things I don't know. Maybe I'm just going blind.

Here's a link to the Picasa album. https://picasaweb.google.com/abrogard/Mysterypests?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCO7vvsKZhPOs7gE&feat=directlink

Hope it works alright. I find only one tricky thing with Picasa: when viewing a pic it is not easy to see how to get back to the whole 'album' but you do it by clicking on the album name there, the text. But the slide show feature is great.

I'm going to use Delpin and Eco-oil and I'm much enjoy it if anyone has better or alternative methods to show me.

This thing has been driving me nuts for months....

p.s. I've just been having second thoughts. Maybe it is not a caterpillar. Maybe it's an aphid maggot or something. It doesn't seem to have any legs. Maybe it is a third thing entirely... You can blow up those pics on Picasa quite well, I find.
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Re: I Found The Mystery Pest

Postby karyn » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:07 pm

Grasshoppers and sparrows will do damage as well.
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Re: I Found The Mystery Pest

Postby tam » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:41 pm

Do you have the wild ducks fly into your yard. I had that sort of damage from them.
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Re: I Found The Mystery Pest

Postby abrogard » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:35 am

It is not the aphid or the caterpillar, is it? I think you're right. Birds. I only get this damage in the front yard and that's where birds congregate. Because there's gum trees all around I guess.

Galahs, sparrows (?), top knot pigeons, magpies for instance... I see them all on the beds from time to time... I just never actually see them standing there pecking at my plants.. No wild ducks that I've seen but I guess it's possible.. they fly over... we're on a big river..

But I think that must be it. Nothing else would cut through leaf stems like that. In retrospect that's pretty obvious, I guess.

I'll get chicken wire this morning and that'll maybe settle it.
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Re: I Found The Mystery Pest

Postby tam » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:44 am

The damage from ducks was done at night. I woke up one morning and my lettuce were shredded.
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Re: I Found The Mystery Pest

Postby abrogard » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:10 pm

This has been happening to me for months. It is birds. I'm finally convinced and this afternoon I actually saw one doing it - a sparrow (if that's what they are) - standing there pecking and tugging at a seedling.

They're very quick. They usually fly away before I even round the corner. I usually never see them on the beds. The pigeons, yes, but not them.

So I didn't get chicken wire - they could maybe get through those holes - I've got something with about a 20 mm mesh.

That's the thing that used to puzzle me most, though - night time and day time. It always seemed the damage was done mainly at night. Well there's no birds at night is there? But maybe crack of dawn, maybe late afternoon feeding after I'd quit for the day.....

We'll see...

:)
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Re: I Found The Mystery Pest

Postby karyn » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:46 pm

Bloody sparrows...grrrr...bird netting will keep them out, or buy some chicken feed and chuck it over the fence ointo your neighbour's yard, so they go there instead! :D :D
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Re: I Found The Mystery Pest

Postby Pam » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:27 am

Bird mesh only has holes about 1cm or thereabouts abrogard, and should work fine.
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