Over the weekend it started. The non-stop tiny patter-patter of black specks raining down from on high. You stand still and listen and it sounds like fizzing.
We thought they were seeds on the patio, as much as possible under the umbrella, and didn’t think much of it, except : what fecundity! Billions of seeds!
Fecundity is about right! It’s inchworm poop! It’s these guys:
It is covering everything. It crunches underfoot on the patio stones. When wet it stains brown.
It’s not good to have so many inchworms, or cankerworms, in your garden. Not, IMO, because they get into your hair and clothes (and ears!), or ruin the BBQ or a drink left uncovered by adding protein, but because they’re obviously having themselves a banquet. So far only the big adult trees are their feast, but they’ll survive (I’m told). The as yet small hazels and the cherry tree are suffering too and them I’ll spray with an organic pest-repellent. Everything else seems fine, so far. I’m trying to find the positive side to this: this poop must be pretty good fertilizer, don’t you think?
What do you use on your small trees (cherry and hazelnut)? We have suffering apple trees, but from different caterpillars.
I always spray Spinosad once in spring, of course after dark, so the bees are not affected. I have yet to find another way to actually harvest any blueberries. The inchworm WILL eat all the blossoms.
PS: The upside is really that these inchworms are a short season. They go away a week or two later. One application, long before the fruit sets, is all my blueberries need. I did see a tiny amount of damage on apples and cherries, and sprayed them, too, once. Will continue to monitor that, though, since I’m not expecting fruit from those yet anyway, I’m not as picky.
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