Something is selectively eating bog plants

Mmathis

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Two plants with problems.......not sure if it’s the same “thing” happening to both of them.

  1. Thalia dealbata — something is eating the leaves. Have found 2 different caterpillars, one pictured here, but the other one was different and bigger (no pic of it)
  2. Cardinal flower — 1 entire plant eaten to the ground / and a few leaves chewed from another plant
Went out after the rain today and noticed that one of my cardinal plants....wasn’t there any more! Shock! The stems were there but all the leaves.....gone!

The 2nd, larger cardinal is healthy, but did find a few chewed leaves.

None of the other plants have been touched!

I looked closely at all the plants, but only found one active pest — the little slimy caterpillar.

Why are only these 2 plant types being targeted, and what can I do the save them?


Thalia leaf, after I unrolled the caterpillar. All the rest of my Thalia’s have been denuded!
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These stalks are all that’s left of a cardinal flower plant!
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Chewed leaves from another cardinal flower....
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The still healthy, other cardinal flower plant.
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sissy

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co you have rabbits .I have those dreaded japenese beetles right now
 
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sissy

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bugs will select the softest and sweetest plants to eat .You should see the beetles in my fruit trees and not in the maples
 
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It's definitely caterpillar damage. Why one and not the other? Maybe he just got full!
 
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Would you consider encouraging wasps to your pond area?
They would take care of those little so-and-so's.
 

Mmathis

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Would you consider encouraging wasps to your pond area?
They would take care of those little so-and-so's.
We have wasps! And they LOVE the turtle-bog, which is where this is all taking place. I see them throughout the day, drinking in the bog. I don’t try to discourage them, in fact, when they start to interfere with the hummingbird feeders, I will set them up with their own “drinking stations.”

If my plants don’t completely disappear in the meantime, I’m going to take @j.w’s advice and go out there after dark. It could be snails/slugs, but I’m not seeing their slimy trails. I scan the leaves daily, and can’t find any critters that are visible — just chewed up leaves. And as much as I don’t really want to, I might try some diatomaceous earth around the base of these particular plants.
 
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I know a lot of people complain about wasps and bees, but we have a lot of them here and they don't bother us.
Wasps eat so many garden pests, I let them be and learn to give them their space.
Hopefully they will find and eat your bog plant eating critters.
 

Mmathis

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I know a lot of people complain about wasps and bees, but we have a lot of them here and they don't bother us.
Wasps eat so many garden pests, I let them be and learn to give them their space.
Hopefully they will find and eat your bog plant eating critters.
Wasps only seem to be a problem if they think they are defending a nest. As long as they mind their own business, I do the same.
 

j.w

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Any wasp nests around our deck area are knocked down before they start a family. All others that aren't where we hang out are left alone to do their jobs.
 

Mmathis

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Well, I almost died......heat index 105, and a dizzy spell.......but did the best I could to dust DE on these particular plants, as well as on the ground around the stems. Tried to dust tops and bottoms of the leaves, but the Thalia acted like it had an anti-stick coating. Odd. No idea if DE is effective against snails/slugs (probably not), but I can go out after dark with a flashlight.

Just curious, but do the little pond snails ever come out of the water? There are a ton in the turtle bog and I can’t seem to stay ahead of them (disposal-wise).
 
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