Subject: Budworm Moth caught laying eggs on my woody plant
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Time: 07:32 PM PDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
Yesterday I noticed the bane of all home Cannabis gardeners, about eight tiny Budworms, Chloridea virescens, crawling on the righteous colas of My Woody Plant as well as on Abel’s Indica #1. They were tiny Budworms, probably just hatched, and they didn’t have time to bore into the buds where they begin eating, leaving a shit-filled shell of a bud as they grow. This morning I found a few more tiny Budworms on the same two plants, and horror of horrors, two buds with signs of a feeding Budworm, the brown and dead florets, and sure enough, larger Budworms were feeding on some swelling buds. I wrote to Mel Frank and he wrote back that it wasn’t too late to spray Bt, so I started spraying about 6:30 this evening. It was a beautiful night sky with a sickle Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars all visible just past sunset. When I began spraying the Purple Fire clone, I saw a moth fly out of the interior of the plant and I missed it with my hand, and I watched it fly toward the plants I had just sprayed. I had a second chance to catch it and missed, so I got a fish net and caught it on the third try. I kind of mangled it in the process, but I am certain what I was watching was the Budworm Moth flying from cola to cola laying eggs, which probably explains why I would only find one Budworm per bud.
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener
Dear Constant Gardener,
Thank you ever so much for providing us with your harrowing gardening experience. It sounds quite stressful. BugGuide has no information on the Tobacco Budworm feeding on Cannabis, but it does state the larval foods are “Cotton, tobacco, roses, ground cherries, soybean, and many others” and “Caterpillars feed on buds, flowers, fruits, and seeds, making them an agricultural crop pest.” We did locate a Springer Link essay “Flight activity of Heliothis virescens (F.) females (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) with reference to host-plant volatiles” that states: “Many phytophagous insects use airborne volatiles emitted from plants to locate their hosts. The recent development of bioassay systems for studying host-plant finding and ovipositional behavior under controlled environmental conditions in the laboratory has intensified interest in characterization of the specific behaviors regulated by volatile emissions from plants and identification of the active compounds.” Again, alas, Cannabis in not mentioned. Do the plants in question produce odiferous airborne emissions?
Thanks for all that information. The buds on my plants do smell quite dank. I keep finding Budworm Eggs, but luckily, not much bud damage. Here is an image of one of the dreaded Budworm Eggs. Harvest is near.
Mel Frank Comments:
Tobacco budworm moth is brown with 3 Chevron markings on wings.i believe they are attracted by terpene fragrances which become prominent during flowering, increasing as they mature. Rarely see them in beginning flowering. Once flowers begin smelling you must spray more often than every two weeks.12 days early and once a week flowering.