London (change)
Today 18°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 13°C
7 messages
15/09/2012 at 21:45

Hi, we have found some visitors in our garden - they are bright green caterpillars with darker green chevrons on them.  They are currently sitting on my Acer in the garden.  Does anyone know which species they are?  My husband wants to get rid of them but I would like to know what they are before we do.  Also if anyone knows what they eat and whether we could leave them be.

Thanks for your help

15/09/2012 at 22:51

I don't know but hopefully this link will help as there are a lot of green caterpillars.

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species_family.php?name=all&stage=larva

16/09/2012 at 07:56

Please leave them be - particularly if you don't know what they are - no wonder the numbers of butterflies and moths are falling so dramatically if people kill things because they don't know what they are but think they might eat something! 

The majority of butterflies and moths are useful pollenators and are beautiful.  We'll all regret it when they're extinct. 

16/09/2012 at 08:20

I agree with Dove . My nastursiums were covered with cabbage white caterpillars this year - much more than usual but I just left them.  Even though they are full of holes they are still flowering and I think it's a small sacrifice to make when you see the end result.

Slugs and snails , however

16/09/2012 at 09:18
I think many of us are obsessed these days with killing creatures simply because they exist. However, we do need to control ants, slugs, weevils, etc., etc., and caterpillars. I don't know what harm woodlice do but I do not want them entering the house so I kill them. If.pests are destroying a valuable plant or eating salad crops, etc., should we let that happen? So, Nikki if you grow your Acer for its appearance then check out what these caterpillars are and do what you want to do. It should not be made into a huge moral issue for you.If caterpillars are feeding on nettles leave them alone. Anyway, most of us now grow plants esp for butterflies, etc. and are aware of needing to strike the right balance.
16/09/2012 at 09:23

Even with slugs, I leave the big black/orange ones alone as they prey on other slugs and eat very little green matter.  See here http://www.cf.ac.uk/biosi/staffinfo/wocs2.html

We have lots of the big black/orange ones but get very little slug damage in the garden - snails are another matter 

And it's no good growing nectar rich flowers for butterflies if we don't grow the food plants for the caterpillars - not all caterpillars eat nettles!  

16/09/2012 at 09:30

Woodlice in houses do not cause problems, they indicate that you already have one, as they enter houses looking for moisture so in buildings the presence of woodlice indicate a damp problem.

They do not eat sound timber.  They are beneficial in gardens as they help with the breakdown of decomposing matter in the soil as earthworms do.  Occasionally they may be found getting moisture from  a strawberry that has already been damaged by a slug.

Woodlice are the gardener's friend. 

email image
7 messages