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New way to control destructive caterpillars  RSS feed

garden master
Posts: 4778
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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There is a new(ish) study going on that shows great promise for slowing down the destructive devouring of our plants done by caterpillars.
After I read about this study being done by  Jürgen Tautz and Michael Rostas of the University of Würzberg, DE. I decided to give it a go myself.
I recorded wasps and bees buzzing around our trailer (home) and then went out to our hornworm ravaged tomato plants.
My new phone seems to not have much volume on playback but once I got it close enough to a big hornworm he stopped eating, let his head droop backwards then he just let go and plopped to the ground.
I tried it on two other hornworms and they reacted differently, just leaning their heads back. I think this is their way of playing dead. Either way the subjects stopped eating my tomato plants.
Once I was through with my little test, I destroyed the hornworms of course, I get great satisfaction by squishing them or feeding them to our hogs (who slurp them up quickly when tossed within mouth range).

Here are a couple of links about this new(ish) study that is going on.

of bees and caterpillars


Posts: 360
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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Intresting. This is as close to a natural approach i can think of. Lots of other animals do Biomimicry, why not humans! The only downside I can see is the possibility of breeding caterpillars that ignore wasp sounds, but thats a good thing for the farmer.
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