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Finally have my first hops - what the heck are these worms?

This is very distressing. First year growing, did not expect much but finally got cones on my Chinook plans only to see these WORMS eating the leaves and hops at the top. What the heck are they and what should I do?[attachment=2]IMAG0643-r.jpg[/attachment][attachment=1]IMAG0646-r.jpg[/attachment][attachment=0]IMAG0642-r.jpg[/attachment][attachment=0]IMAG0642-r.jpg[/attachment]

I don’t know what those are but you should do something about them sooner rather than later I would think. I lost a battle with aphids earlier this year right as my hops started to bud the plant began to die. Now the vines are just hanging there with hardly any leaves and sad little dying hops on them as I hope they will somehow muster enough energy to grow to usable size in the next month.

Try spraying them with soapy water. Dish soap foams up good in a spray bottle. Some guys spray a soapy mist in front of a leaf-blower, pointed upwards at the underside of the leaves. Dish soap breaks through the oil barrier on the skin of the bugs, as I understand it, and they rapidly dehydrate and die.

I’ve seen it work almost immediately on caterpillar-like beasties. You can also mix up a tobacco/soap tea mix and spray that on there.

I used old pipe tobacco, but others use snuff. Soak in water for a while to extract the nicotine. Add soap. I think my recipe called for mouthwash too, equal parts of all three ingredients. Pour into a spray bottle, and squirt those suckers. Works well on a lot of garden pests too (cabbage loopers, etc.)

Good luck to you!

I have used dishsoap/vegie oil solutions for aphids, which breaks down the exoskeleton (OK I can’t spell) and like someone says basically dehydrates them & kills them. I was thinking that caterpillers were different, so I found this at the e-how website, but I have not used this yet. One other tip, since there is oil being extracted, best to apply at dusk or after sun goes down, otherwise the oil (which absorbs/evaporates much slower than water) could lead to leaf burn in direct sun. Kind of like a mini magnifying glass. The leaves may look a little glossy from the oil, but it won’t hurt your plant, shouldn’t impact your beer flavor from the minimal amount of residual orange oil on hops. Good luck, those little suckers look hungry.


•1 cup of chopped orange peels
•¼ cup of boiling water

How to Make Caterpillar Repellent
Put the orange peels in a blender or food processor. Actually any citrus fruit will work because the caterpillar is repelled by the scent and it has the add advantage of having a pleasant aroma for humans

Pour the boiling water over the Orange peels. The boiling water will help to extract the important citrus oils.

Liquefy the entire mixture and allow it to sit overnight at room temperature. Cover the mixture to help control evaporation.

Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and pour the liquid into a hand held mist sprayer.

Fill the remaining space in the sprayer with warm water.

Spray your plants. Start at the bottom and enjoy the scent.

I don’t know exactly what they are but we had the same thing show up on our chinooks in the hopyard we planted at a friends farm. We only had them on one plant and did some serious pick and squish control. Only took a couple days to get control of them although it seemed they were eating a lot of leaves and rolling some to lay eggs in.

Kinda funny you posted that because I was like, ‘Hey, I recognize those!’ Then I looked under your name to see where you are… Solomons Island, MD here. about an hour and a half south of you.

Maybe this guy? I see he’s called a “Trichordestra legitima, Striped garden caterpillar”
They are found in Maryland. They turn into some sort of moth.

[quote=“SolomonsCommune”]Maybe this guy? I see he’s called a “Trichordestra legitima, Striped garden caterpillar”
They are found in Maryland. They turn into some sort of moth.[/quote]

That is exactly them. I have been picking them off and dropping in soapy water. I did notice a few on other varieties, but they sure seem to like the Chinook the best.

SC, yea, you are a neighbor to the south. I know your area well. Which varieties have you had the most success with?

Cascades so far, in my yard. I have two cascades and a magnum that are 2nd year. The Magnum isn’t doing anything for me, and it’s right next to the cascades which are growing way better than I ever had expected. They are unreal.

I also have 2 Nugget, a Centennial, a Crystal, a Kent Golding and a Willamette. I planted those around my 2nd story deck hoping to get some sort of shade/screen going on for privacy but they are under a tree and on the back of the house that gets very little sunshine. They grew alright for 1st year but I’m going to move them this coming fall or spring to a new spot that has sunlight all day.

A friend and I have a hop project going on his farm about 10 miles from me. We have about 70 bines growing there but didn’t do as well as we would have liked even for 1st year. We had some soil issues that we had to contend with most of the spring. We should have amended the soil before we planted but didn’t, then spent the rest of spring trying to get the soil around the already sprouting rhizomes up to par.

We have mostly Chinook and Willamette planted at the farm. Maybe 8 Cascades, 5 Nugget and a couple Columbus.

We started out with different numbers of different varieties but after our failure with the soil we had to replace some and also added to the number quite a bit. Again, we’ve got roughly 70 plants there, we’re thinking about at least doubling this coming spring but we’ve got a lot of thinking to do before then. Lots of work, a bit of money, will we have anything to show for it? kind of thinking ha…

I have Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Mt Hood, Willamette and other that I cannot recall. All are doing well except the Willamette which has seemingly died.

We had to build a raised garden because the soil in Kent Island is like a rock the clay is so hard. So I planted in pots when I got them in May and then had to transfer. That was rough on them. But they are (were) going great until the worms.

Oh well. I am just picking them off every day and now that the rain has stopped, I will spray with soapy water.

You know if the crabs are running as crappy up there as they are down here? The guy I work with is actually from Kent Island, and he goes trot lining on the weekends. Said the females are showing up in force way too early this year. Maybe it’s a sign that its going to be a cooold winter?

I heard they were really good and they are plentiful to buy on the sides of the road, but I had not heard about the female issue. It might be a good sign for the future though.

I just moved to Kent Island so I am sure it will be a nasty cold winter since I now have a long commute. I will just stay home and brew beer. :cheers:

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