Tobacco budworms are back

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The tobacco budworms are back. These caterpillars are very good at camouflage, taking on the color tint of the flowers they eat. The adults are moths. The moths are about 1” long , brown with greenish overtones.

Three dark bands traverse the wings and each band has a cream border. Eggs are laid on the flower buds of Petunia, snapdragon, Geranium, and Nicotiana. They are also known to attack lettuce. They can be seen best at dusk busily munching the flowers.

Symptoms of budworm are tattered petals, circular holes in the flower ovaries (Base of flowers), plants stop blooming (empty buds!), or small caterpillar pellets (feces). The best controls are handpicking, Spinosad, and lastly, BT.

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