What Are Fireworms: Tips On Fireworm Control In Gardens


By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Although starting and maintaining a garden is an exciting and rewarding task, the process can also be quite frustrating when fireworm pests wreak havoc on one’s most beloved plantings. Ranging from superficial to severe, recognizing the signs and symptoms of infestation is the first step to a healthy growing space.

About Fireworm Pests in Gardens

So what are fireworms? Fireworms, or Choristoneura parallela, are a pest common to crops such as soybeans and cranberry. Adult fireworm moths find and lay eggs on the surface of nearby plant foliage. Though the size of the yellow-bronze eggs is relatively small, they’re often laid in larger clusters.

These egg clusters then hatch, and the fireworm larva begin to feed on growth of the host plant. As the larva feed, plant stems are wrapped in webbing. While early season plant damage is minimal, a second generation of the fireworms in the same season may greatly impact the quality of the fruit harvest, thus making fireworm management vital.

Fireworm Control

Need to know how to get rid of fireworms? Luckily for home cranberry growers, there are several options when it comes to managing and controlling fireworms.

Early in the growing season, gardeners should do visual checks of the planting area, paying close attention to the presence of eggs or larvae. Fireworm larvae is usually found at the tips of cranberry branches. There, they will begin the process of feeding and forming webs.

The removal of eggs from the garden will also help to ensure that crop damage is reduced. Since fireworm moths most often lay eggs on the topside of weeds growing near cranberry plants, one of the best methods of prevention is to maintain proper garden sanitation. Remove weeds growing near plants, as well as any other garden debris.

While commercial growers are able to better control populations of fireworm larvae through flooding and the use of chemical controls, these methods are not recommended for home growers. If considering use of insecticides, make certain to contact a local agriculture agent as to gain valuable safety and region specific information.

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Dead Worms On My Patio

The ground is filled with worms, as many as a million worms per acre, according to some estimates. Most people don’t realize just how many worms live in the soil, but when something happens to bring them to the surface, it suddenly seems that worms are everywhere. Worms are unable to withstand exposure to light for very long, and if they get caught on the surface with no way to escape, such as when they happen to crawl onto a patio, the worms will die.


What’s a Bristle Worm?

Part of the fun of keeping an aquarium is creating a balanced ecosystem of plants, rocks, and fish.

You’ll find creatures that thrive in the same environment and can be kept together, and then watch them all live among each other like a tiny microcosm of their natural habitat.

This is part of the magic of keeping a tank, but it’s also a BIG part of the challenge! One example is the bristle worm or the Polychaeta. So just what is this?

Technically, bristle worms are a form of marine pest.

These are not the only type of pests or diseases that you’ll encounter by a long shot, but bristle worms are among the most common.

What’s more, is that bristle worms are very difficult to get rid of and are known to cause a range of different issues in marine tanks.

That said, they aren’t always bad, and there is such a thing as good bristle too!

Some people even recommend that you keep most types of bristle worm in your tank. Others will recommend that you destroy them with extreme prejudice!

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Bristle worms are technically categorized as polychaetes, soft-bodied annelids.

They are called bristle worms because of the tiny bristles or many hairs that cover the side of their body. These bristles are hollow in some cases and barbed in others and they will often break off when brushed against by fish or other critters living in your saltwater tank.

This can cause irritation in itself, but worse is that bristle worms can actually be venomous in some cases! Here, the tiny spines are actually poisonous and can cause irritation to many fish species .

What’s more, is that bristle worms often have powerful jaws that they use for feeding. They may sometimes bite other animals in your tank, causing further harm.

They can also actively feed on corals , which can damage them. All in all, not good!

To look at, bristle worms are a little bit like millipedes. They can appear in a variety of different colors though are often red or orange in hue.


Fireworms?

I was checking out my dad's saltwater tank and found that the one little worm-thing I found around Christmas has turned into many, which I think are bearded fireworms (hermodice carunculata). I'm really not sure though. The largest ones I've seen are about an inch long. I've read that some worms are bad and some are good. I figure these little guys aren't any harm at the moment, but I'm a little worried they could kill an anemone or fish once they get larger. Not to mention that I also read that they can have some of their spines floating around in the water that can stick in you or a fish even if you don't bother them.

Here's a <> I took of two of them. My camera isn't very good at taking pictures of very small things. The pink part of the larger one is about the same color that they actually are, and the dark parts on them are organs and/or food inside them. They're clearish, like baby earthworms. The white leg-things are furry, not solid, which is why I figure they're bearded fireworms.

But I've only been able to match up pictures I find on the internet, and it seems they come in a variety of colors. I haven't found enough information to really know if they're a threat or not.

There are hermit crabs, snails, various anemone-things, two fish, copepods (if that's what they're called), and two (at least, it had babies) starfish. There's no living coral, but there used to be featherdusters popping up everywhere. Could they be to blame for the featherduster's sudden disappearance? Do you think they would harm anything in the tank? Should we kill them or leave them alone? Are they really bearded fireworms?


Relationships

Snotlout Jorgenson

Hookfang and Snotlout bonded with one another before they went to fight the Red Death. Even though they seem very cold and harsh towards one another, Snotlout often trying too hard to enforce his authority and Hookfang sometimes ignoring Snotlout's commands, they care deeply about one another, as they are both willing to sacrifice their lives for one another. Snotlout risked his life trying to acquire a Firecomb to save Hookfang's life and Hookfang in return was willing to sacrifice the Firecomb when the Fireworm Queen tried to attack Snotlout to get it back. They are very in sync, both being very proud, stubborn, and rude. Despite his loyalty towards Snotlout, Hookfang didn't want to be buried alive with him (although this could also be because he knew Snotlout wasn't going to die). Hookfang was upset and looked devastated when he thought that the Screaming Death had killed him. Snotlout, seeing that Hookfang was always with Girl Hookfang, thought it would be best to release him. Though it was a misunderstanding, Snotlout was willing to give the best for Hookfang, if it made him happy. Hookfang's disobedience may be due to Snotlout's enormous ego and Snotlout not giving him the proper respect.

Snotlout and Hookfang have more of a cowboy-horse relationship. As, unlike Hiccup and Toothless or Fishlegs and Meatlug, etc, Snotlout and Hookfang don't talk and play together, as the other dragon riders do. Hookfang likes to tease Snotlout and laugh when Astrid makes jokes about Jorgensons. Even though they don't show much respect for each other, they are still best of friends and Hookfang protects his trainer.

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III

Hiccup and Hookfang first met in the Arena, where Hiccup was assigned to kill Hookfang, but instead tried to train him, to show the tribe the truth about dragons. Even though it seems to work, Stoick interrupts. Startled, the Nightmare attacks and almost kills Hiccup. However, he was saved by Toothless. Despite this rocky start, Hookfang easily allowed Hiccup to lead him out of his cage without threatening or trying to harm him shortly after he tried to kill the young Viking and Hiccup introduces him to Snotlout, helping them bond. Hookfang even showed concern when Hiccup was seemingly killed by the Red Death. During Snoggletog, Hookfang gave Hiccup a lift back to Berk when he was accidentally taken to the dragon nesting ground. ("Gift of the Night Fury")

Astrid Hofferson

Astrid first met Hookfang in the Kill Ring, where she tried to save Hiccup from him. Astrid then temporarily switched dragons with Snotlout. Even though she doesn't like it at first, she is quickly impressed by his fire breathing and strength. Astrid even discovered the hidden ability of 'Wing Blast'. She became very fond of Hookfang, to the point where she wanted to feed him breakfast behind Snotlout's back. Astrid also shows anger and concern when Drago Bludvist places his foot on Hookfang.

Toothless

From the moment he met Toothless, the two have been rivals. Toothless saved Hiccup from Hookfang in the Kill Ring, and later worked together with him to defeat the Red Death. In several episodes, such as "Thawfest", they were shown to be rivals. About 5 years later, Hookfang shows his respect to Toothless when Toothless establishes himself as the new Alpha dragon after defeating Drago's Bewilderbeast.

Barf and Belch

Hookfang and Barf and Belch have shown to be fighting one another in several episodes, for various reasons. Though they do argue pretty often, sometimes they can be found working well as a team.

Gobber the Belch

After the event in the Kill Ring, Gobber was the one leading Hookfang back into his cage. ("How to Train Your Dragon") He was also the one who managed to cure Hookfang's toothache, and he has been seen riding Hookfang temporarily. ("Viking for Hire")

Stoick the Vast

Stoick was the reason Hookfang went on a rampage during the Kill Ring because he startled the Nightmare Stoick briefly rode him before he burned said Viking's rear. Stoick also calmed Hookfang down after he returned to Berk without Snotlout.

Spitelout Jorgenson

Seeing how Spitelout treats Hookfang and Snotlout, it is safe to imply Hookfang has a dislike towards Spitelout. He was shown to comfort Snotlout after Spitelout had made him upset at the Thawfest Games. Later, Spitelout revealed he thought of Dragons as simple weapons, comparing Hookfang to a sword that can be easily replaced. Hookfang had shown to let Spitelout ride on him showing they might be able to have a respectful relationship over the years.

Meatlug

Hookfang is a bit like his rider for teasing Fishlegs. As he has shown to be a bit of bully to her for hitting with his wing for great distance showing no concern to her at all and even grin at her for getting the sheep from her rider using his tail whip on her from the second film. A few years before the second movie, Hookfang had helped her to be trained to become a fiercer and stronger dragon with their owners as well.

Fishlegs Ingerman

Hookfang frightened Fishlegs and Meatlug by using his shadow when he was behind the twins as they were using their shadows to scare them. Also, he was given comfort by Fishlegs when he was on Fireworm Island. ("Race to Fireworm Island") When Hookfang becomes agitated by a storm, Fishlegs tried to command respect as a Dragon Rider. Hookfang eventually allows Fishlegs to ride him and they clumsily fly to the other Riders before crashing to the ground.("Blindsided")

Gustav Larson

Gustav briefly became Hookfang's rider, when Snotlout thought he was going to die and chose Gustav to be his successor. Hookfang even helps out with Gustav to get on his neck when he falls off. However, when Snotlout found out he wasn't going to die, Gustav got kicked out of the Academy, which leads to Gustav meeting and training Fanghook.

Fanghook

One could argue Fanghook's and Hookfang's relationship is a bit like Snotlout's and Gustav's. Hookfang seemed to have certain distrust and disdain for Fanghook, scaring him away once by roaring, most likely for dominance of being larger or having more experience with humans, like most animals do today. But that changed in the skirmish of Dagur the Deranged when the two worked together.

Alvin the Treacherous

Considering Alvin had been a long-time enemy of Berk, it was only logical Hookfang viewed him as an enemy. However, that changed when he gave the Outcast Chieftain a lift back to Berk, in return for saving Snotlout from the Screaming Death.

Drago Bludvist

Hookfang was the first of the Hooligan Dragons to meet Drago, and Hookfang instantly attacked him. When that didn't work, Drago attempted to exert his authority over Hookfang,

forcing the dragon's head under his foot, but this attempt to exert control failed to keep Hookfang confined when he was freed by Snotlout.

Girl Hookfang

Hookfang answered her distress call at first, he had to try very hard to get to her cave because Snotlout interfered with him as she was trying her best to make him stay and protect her eggs. Hookfang broke out of his cage when Snotlout locked him in, and he arrived at the cave and was protective over Girl Hookfang as he flung away the eel Snotlout gave to her to try to ward her off. Also, Hookfang fought off the Titan Wing Monstrous Nightmare and asserted his dominance over the intruder with Snotlout's help.

Ruffnut Thorston

Hookfang let her ride on him when Snotlout made Tuffnut truly believed he was becoming into a Lycanwing. The next day, Ruffnut was riding on Hookfang, she was with Snotlout as well making Hookfang fly too fast to stop for perfect landing causing him to land on the ground to get injured. Which made Hookfang dislike her by growling at her.("Bad Moon Rising") Later when Hookfang saves Ruffnut when Tuffnut saves Snotlout, Snotlout was getting along more with Tuffnut and Barf & Belch show their amazing abilities to do together that made Hookfang upset showing to agreed with Ruffnut that they should switch dragons.("Maces and Talons, Part 1")

Tuffnut Thorston

Hookfang makes Tuffnut ride him so that they can rescue Snotlout when he is being hunted by female Razorwhips in Wingmaiden Island. ("Snotlout's Angels")

Heather

Hookfang has been seen to like Heather since she even called Hookfang the most impressive dragon.("Heather Report, Part 1")

Fireworm Queen

Hookfang has shown to have a good bond with the Queen as she saved his life. Hookfang has proven to be the most trustworthy ally for the Queen as he was willing to do everything he can to help to protect the nest of the Fireworms. ("Crash Course")


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