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Every year I get yellow and black striped caterpillars that totally eat (skeletonize) my grape leaves. My grapes are coming in really nicely right now, but I see little white flies buzzing around them. I don't know if they have anything to do with the yellow and black caterpillars or not? Any suggestions for a natural preventative?

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Comment by Cristy on May 10, 2012 at 1:38pm

This doesn't sound like the  Harrisana Americana moth problem that we had; you would see white eggs on the underside of the grape leaves.  The caterpillars  also skeletonized only the leaves after hatching. Try spraying with a soap and water mixture if you think it's white flies.  

Comment by Tom Flower on May 10, 2012 at 7:46am

Looks like there are little white flies on the underside of the leaves !!

Comment by Tom Flower on May 10, 2012 at 7:23am

My grapes are small and green but there is this powder small sawdust like stuff that is thinning them out and turning the clusters of grapes into skeletons. Any ideas ? cure? I can't tell if there are flies. This powdery sawdust like stuff kind of hangs on to the grape clusters. I can't visibly see any insects ? I might just try an organic spray


Comment by Kenny on May 5, 2010 at 8:47am
I agree with Chris. If the plant is weak or the soil it makes a better habitat for pest . Over the years growing food I have been forced to accept I am not in controll the plant will let you know if something is wrong.

Comment by Cristy on April 30, 2010 at 10:29am
Sure enough, we've discovered the black moths in their initial stages of laying eggs on the underside of the grape leaves! We must have caught them in the 1st days because we've been able to go out and smush the eggs and even the moths (they are slow fliers). In my research, I also learned that the moths winter in the dead leaves at the base of the plant. So I will be completely cleaning out that corner of the yard this morning. I think we might be able to control them by smushing a little every day; if not we will do the bt treatment. So....check out your grape vines today. I've attached the website with info on the pest below. Here's hoping to an actual grape harvest this year!
Comment by Cristy on April 29, 2010 at 7:53am
Thanks for the good tips. I'll spray the soap solution for the white flies and watch for the caterpillars. I actually found some bt solution in my storage room, but it's years old. No expiration on the bottle, but I'm hesitant to use it. Think it gets old? Do any of you know where I can get it here in town?
Comment by green shoes on April 28, 2010 at 1:17pm
Those yellow and black striped caterpillars come from a black moth. You need to spray with bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) to get those buggars. If you are opposed to spray you need to go out every single day and look for the eggs on the backside of the leaves then squish them.
Comment by Joseph Pup on April 27, 2010 at 8:32am
When you spray any organic product, spray under the leaves where all the whiteflies stay indirectly from a sunlight.
Comment by Joseph Pup on April 27, 2010 at 8:29am
Hi Christy,

I highly suggest you to buy a book called "Extreme Gardening" written by Dave Owens. You see him on channel 3 talking about the garden problems. Buy it on to save money. Dave mentions for whiteflies and mites problems. Use 2 bulbs of garlic, 2 hot pepers, and 1/3 cup of water. Put it in the blender to make concentrate. Add a quater of this concoction to one gallon of water. To make it really strong, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil which bugs hate it!

Recipe #2 for aphid, spider mite, or whitefly: 2 tb of blue dishwashing liquid, 1 gallon of water, 1 tb of cooking oil.

I also buy Organocide for insecticide and fungicide for organic production from Home Depot. It kills 25 problem insects. It costs $20 if I remember.

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