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Past Articles Library | Organic Pest Control | Tomato Hornworm


Dipel is a biological insecticide that is extremely selective. It contains Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a naturally occurring bacteria that is fatal to the larvae of the order Lepidoptera (butterfly family).

It's used against chewing larvae (caterpillars) of cabbage looper, cabbageworm, grape leaf folder, tomato hornworm, cutworm, sod webworm, tobacco budworm and several others lepidopterous species like: armyworms, leafroller, and webworm, etc.

What's interesting about Dipel, is that humans, beneficial insects, birds, fish, and wildlife are NOT affected by it, and treated vegetables may be picked and consumed anytime after spraying. Pets and family may return to the treated area immediately after spray deposits are dry.

So how does it work? Well, caterpillars must eat a small amount of a treated leaf to get a lethal dose, so your application has to be pretty thorough. Uniform coverage of both sides of all foliage subject to attack is essential for fast and complete control, so we recommend using either a pest pistol or hand duster (see images below).

Apply upon first sighting of pests and repeat as necessary. Caterpillars stop feeding within a few hours after taking a bite of the treated leaf. Death follows within a few days.

So this summer, if you are having any kind of problems with caterpillars, try some Dipel. You'll be glad you did, and so will the environment!

You can read more about the Tomato Hornworm, its lifecyle and habits.


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Keep Some Birds Away

When you have worked very hard to grow your grapes, fruits and vegetables, it's hard to not be bothered when birds come in and take the best of everything!

A few tricks that work well are: netting over grapes, mylar strips tied to branches of your fruit trees, even blow up owls work.

If you use a blow up owl, or scarecrow, keep in mind to move them every few days so they appear to "move." Othewise the birds get wise fast and they are no good.

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