Who eats zucchini leaves???

I'm on zone 5. Something's wiping out my zucchini leaves, and FAST. Much of the nibbling is from the middle of the leaves to the outside, so it doesn't seem like the work of a mammal. And, there are no deer tracks. Haven't seen the deer since early May. So....back to the bugs: In 20 years of gardening, I've never seen zucchini leaves eaten. Stem borers, yes. But not this.
I've been out inspecting for bugs at about 12 different times in the past 24 hours - haven't seen a thing. WTF???
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Caterpillars?
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Yeah....but like I said, I've been out there every two hours since yesterday afternoon, during day and night, and I've seen nothing. Unless it's a caterpillar that can decimate 90% of a leaf in 4-5 hours and then leave....
Just spoke to the Cornell Cooperative Extension. It turned into a conference among the various volunteers there. The guy said "Each of us has been gardening since the dawn of time. We've never heard of an insect that does this".
That seems to leave the rabbits, yet again, although it doesn't make sense. No matter. This is war now.
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On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 14:22:05 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

It is possible that it could be a variety of cutworm. If the stem is too tough, some will crawl up until they find something edible. They do their work at night and bury in the dirt at sunup. Dig around the plant with your finger and see if you can find a napping cutworm.
If you find him, squish him. Too bad they cannot scream.
John
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Hi Doug! I'd try a light dusting of lime on the leaves. That would remove rabbits and deer from your list of suspects. Next day or divide your crop into different zones try Safer Soap. Pyrethins next. Rotenone is an option however it has gotten some bad press as it is alleged to cause nerve damage (Parkinson like). It tough when the culprit isn't known.
Banzai ...
Keep us informed and best of luck!
Bill
--
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I'll try the soap. No other chems, though.
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I don't know but I wonder if it's the same thing making lace out of my Hollyhock leaves? I can't see a bug, either.
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My Hollyhock leaves are suffering the same fate, from the same invisible insect.
KD Zone 5a
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Very unlikely that it's the same invisible -- aka unseen -- insect is at work on both zucchini and hollyhocks. Not sure what it is on the zucchini, but I'd be willing to bet the hollyhock varmits were hollyhock weevils that were gone by the time you noticed the damage. Check this web page out for hollyhock weevils, just a bit past the middle of the page: http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/edwardsvillecenter/GMS/Flower%20Insect%20Pests.pdf
Good luck!
Suzy O in Wisconsin, Zone 5
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-snip-
I find Japanese beetles on both my Zuchini & my Hollyhocks. They do seem to eat quite a bit & hide on the bottoms of the leaves so they aren't seen very often. If they get out of hand a little Sevin seems to get them back under control. Usually I just let the birds feast on htem. They make Japanese Beetle traps, but I've never tried them.
Jim
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Good heavens, Japanese beetle traps are NOT a good thing. Usually they lure more beetles into the area than what would have been there to begin with. My sources say that if you do use them, set them far away from any plants they like. The Wisconsin Extension has a nice factsheet on JBs that describes their life cycle, control, etc. http://www.uwex.edu/ces/wihort/gardenfacts/X1062.pdf
Good luck,
Suzy O, Zone 5, Wisconsin

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Okay, am I the only one who is hearing the music to "Who Wears Short Shorts" whenever I see that subject line?
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