タバコが オオタバコガ (Bollworm, I think?)

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
UeNSaVOr
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タバコが オオタバコガ (Bollworm, I think?)

Post by UeNSaVOr »

I'm still a(n outskirts of the) city boy, but I have a decent number of plants going in my rental's parking spot. I've mostly had decent luck with my peppers until this year. I previously grew jalapenos, habaneros, shishito, and bell peppers, but this year I also added serano to the mix. My shishitos had zero issues. This is actually the first year I had any reasonably-sized paprikas/pimans. My shishitos did fine and everything else seemed to be going as planned.

Fast-forward a bit and my seranos are losing about 5%-10% to bug damage. I get some on the leaves, but that never bothered me much. Being as my main goal was jalapeno and habanero, I wasn't too concenered; 5-10% loss doing nothing was probably cheaper than spending time doing something. However, the buggers recently (since last week), started into my healthy probably-ready-to-harvest jalapenos and got into all but my healthiest single paprika (I had a couple of OK size and they both got infested).

The seranos had mostly one hole, near the cap, where something entered. Usually, I'd just toss them as I saw them and things were fine. Recently, things kicked off and I've had all but one paprika gent hollowed out, seranos get hollowed out (they probably got in before the cap grew over the hole, but I'm not sure), and jalapenos have a huge portion of the outside eaten as if something was getting in. Now that they've touched my 'penos, this means war (though I've only got a month or so left before hard freeze so.... meh).

I finally saw one crawling out of a pepper. I'm pretty sure it's one of the larvae of the moths in the title (the pictures of the caterpillars look basically identical to me, but maybe I should use a textbook instead of google images). I read up a bit on it in Japanese and most recommend a non-organic solution. For organic solutions, it was a combination of sacrificial plants, often based on things they liked more than the peppers, or supposedly-hated colors/scents.

Does anyone have any experience or opinions? I'm (hopefully very soon) moving up to Touhoku,but I assume they're still prevelent there, even if the cycle is different. 5-10% isn't a huge loss, but I'd sure love to minimize it (especially if they get more aggressive in the late season). Oddly, I grew only jalapeno, shishito, habanero, and the odd piman before and never saw them; this year is the first. Thanks!

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タバコが オオタバコガ (Bollworm, I think?)

Post by tataminodani »

Separate the infested ones if you can before they spread. That won't help much if it's new eggs and not just the grubs walking over though.

You could try planting some mint, onions or garlic around them. This is mostly to mask the smell rather than deter the moths so ymmv.

If you are using planters on limited space though, there isn't a lot more you could do in the way of companion planting, predator attraction or masking though.

I get out every day to my pots and pick off any grubs and feed them to my koi.

UeNSaVOr
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タバコが オオタバコガ (Bollworm, I think?)

Post by UeNSaVOr »

Thanks! Yeah, I pick any that have signs of pests almost daily. I do plan on planting garlic around (and had some this year, but it didn't do well and died in spring).

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タバコが オオタバコガ (Bollworm, I think?)

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Although I think Bollworm and Yotomushi could be separate species because the caterpillars look so similar they are often referred to as the same thing. However the treatment is the same, BT. It's the safest treatment as it only effects caterpillars and is totally safe on any other insects, it's even used to treat beehives for wax moth larvae as the only place it has an effect is inside the digestive tract of caterpillars.

Ideally you need to spray the underside of the leaves as that's where the eggs are laid and where the caterpillars spend the first parts of their lives before heading for the fruit and boring inside. Kill them at this stage and you'll barely even notice any damage to the plants, merely small indents on the underside of the leaves where they started eating then died. Failure to kill them then and they will make it to a young fruit and bore a small hole to get inside where they will live and grow up. At first it's not possible to tell they are there as they are eating the flesh on the inside, it's only when they get larger and eat more is it possible to see the damage and by then the lower part of the fruit will be filled with their poop which tends to make eating the peppers/chilli somewhat unappealing.

Can't say if they live in Tohoku for sure but would imagine they do as the pupae over winter buried in the soil so can survive freezing temps (we get down to around -10C at night in january and february here and they survive that). The adults lay lots of eggs in clumps widely spread across plants and the caterpillars spread out very quickly so you really have to be on the case with them because once you notice the caterpillars there can be a lot spread out through your plants and as they are so tiny at first they can be hard to see.

There is a photo of a yotomushi in Logman's thread on Caterpillar Food but even if it's not the same as your caterpillar the lifecycle and treatment is similar. When the caterpillars of both species become larger they are will inflict a lot more damage because they eat so much very quickly so will damage a lot before either BT or Spinoace takes them out, also the large quantities of poop they produce can rot some crops like hakusai. Both BT and Spinoace are derived from natural bacteria and fine in organic cultivation, although Spinoace will kill any insect it comes in contact with when wet so spray after bees are no longer active in late afternoon/evening and be mindful of any predators like kamakiri when spraying. Once Spinoace is dry it is harmless to other insects and needs to be consumed to kill.

e2a:
UeNSaVOr wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2023 6:59 am
Thanks! Yeah, I pick any that have signs of pests almost daily. I do plan on planting garlic around (and had some this year, but it didn't do well and died in spring).
Companion planting doesn't work with either species and I've even found them merrily munching on our nira and rakkyo.

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タバコが オオタバコガ (Bollworm, I think?)

Post by UeNSaVOr »

Thanks very much for the advice!

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タバコが オオタバコガ (Bollworm, I think?)

Post by Logman »

I'm pretty sure this is the caterpillar that ate my hatake in September. All my hakusai and pak choi were toast. As I was done with most summer veggies and waiting for fall seedlings to grow I didn't bother weeding so I had jungle in places. The moths lay their eggs in those weeds. As soon as I eliminated every week in the hatake they simply disappeared. Might be a different caterpillar though as the ones I dealt with were starting to pupate by end of September anyway. I ripped out the last of my peppers in the middle of October as they were still infested with bugs. Always have zero insect issues with peppers at the height of summer though.