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Old 09-17-2013, 12:35 PM
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What am I looking for?

Hi all!! I need a little advice. I have two Dens, a seedling and one that was given to me by one of our Geek friends (otis226) that were spiking for me for the first time. Both spikes were about an inch long.

During my morning walk through yesterday, I found both spikes laying in the crotch of the leaves, cleanly snapped off . There were no slime trails, so i don't think its snails or slugs, so what am i looking for?
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:49 PM
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Grasshoppers?
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:34 PM
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Mice, chipmunks...or squirrels, if they can get inside. Any one of those would be my first guess as they love to chew off roots, spikes and entire growths. I had a bear of a time w/the chipmunks and squirrels this Summer.

Mice and chipmunks can get into some amazingly small nooks...look around for itty bitty openings.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:04 PM
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Are these in a GH or outside?

If outside, it could be grasshoppers or the animals katrina mentioned, caterpillars, or it could be birds.

Birds are sometimes pecking at insects/caterpillars on a stem, and cut through the stem. I have witnessed this happen with tomato plant seedlings in the garden before.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:01 PM
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Mice and chipmonks certainly would do this. I'd buy some chipmonk and mouse traps and see what you catch.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:43 AM
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Earwigs will also cut off spikes, or very narrow leaves or blooms. You can walk in and find a leaf laying on the table and it looks like some cut if off with a razor.

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Old 09-18-2013, 07:57 AM
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I forgot about earwigs! Yes, earwigs can do damage too.

As for grasshoppers...IME, they eat the spikes and leaves. It's rare that they feed on orchids but when they do...they eat whatever it is down to nothing...not leaving anything to fall onto the ground. I have found it's the same w/caterpillars...they eat whatever they chew down.

For me though...if it's severed roots or spikes and any other nibble or chew damage (like a taste here and there)...but little in the way of the plants actually being eaten...it's usually a rodent of some sort. I don't know why they gnaw on everything...but they do.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:34 AM
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Thanks, everyone! It did indeed look like a very clean cut with no chewing or gnawing. I've been saving a very large can of Dr Doom for a special occasion - looks like this is it.

Ugh! I was so looking forward to the blooms, now it looks like it may be another year. If I find whatever it is, I'll certainly let you all know.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:40 PM
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They haven't hit my plants recently, but a year or so ago they decimated the leaves of a vanda and several phals - actually climbed out to the ends of leaves. They even got at plants on the top shelf of a portable indoor greenhouse.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:38 PM
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I am definitely not a fan of earwigs. Hope you solve the mystery!
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:05 AM
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I blame Brigette!

I was shutting the g/h down last night and found a petal from a Phal gigantea bloom laying on the floor. Yup one petal that looked like it was cut off with a razor blade.

Good luck finding it - they are very elusive.

Brooke
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