Question From: K. Raff - Michigan, United States
Q: My creeping jenny has just been attacked for the second time this summer by caterpillars who completely deskeletonize the leaves. Only the stems and roots are left. They are white, about 5/8 " long and have black stripes. I had identified them as sawfly larvae via the internet but I could be wrong. After they devoured the creeping jenny, I could only hope that the plant would come back and it did within three weeks. It was as lush and healthy as before the infestation. But then another infestation occurred so I now know I should have treated it prophylactically. My question to you is: What do I treat it with? The damage is done for the second time and I am annoyed with myself. I can't pick the caterpillars off because there are thousands -- I use the creeping jenny as a ground cover in my garden. An suggestions you can provide would be helpful. P.S. Thanks for all you do for MIchigan gardeners.
A: Karen, spinosad a beneficial bacterium that is environmentally friendly will do the job. I use Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew by Bonide. Use it after the bees have gone to bed. I would be sure to keep your creeping jenny well watered and you might want to fertilize it with a kelp and fish fertilizer, such as Neptune's Harvest. Water it well before you fertilize. Do it in the evening or in the early morning and not when the temps rise about 85 degree. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.