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This year I have had 3 long caterpillars.  About 1.5 inch long.  Not sure if these are  going to turn into butterflies or not?

figrat
Probably. Can you describe them? And what plants did you see them on?

One was on a rose bush and one was on a geranium.

It was thin and 1.5 to 2 inches long.

Welshonion

Could you give us a photo, because 1.5 to 2 inches long is mighty long for a thin caterpillar?

Caterpillars can get quite large, when I returned from my jollies last year you would have thought the caterpillars had been on stroids they were so big

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sotongeoff

What are stroids?-I have noticed today that the edit function is not working

Don't all caterpillars turn into butterflies or moths?

figrat
Well yes they do, but as we all know, depending on the species and plant they're on, can do a lot of damage as they munch enough to fuel them through pupation.
sotongeoff

Could be sawfly-did not think of that

On a side note- as gardeners we are encouraged to tempt butterflies into the garden-the dilemma is they all start of as caterpillars- so a slight bit of foot shooting going on there.

What to do?

figrat
ID them I guess...
Botticelliwoman

I tend to ID first.  Sawfly get removed - I put them on the bird table, even though I'm not sure the birds eat them; if there's eggs on my veg I just scrape them off (time consuming but less yucky than squishing 'pillars)  everything else tends to be left to its own devices

figrat
I keep an eye out for caterpillars ofsawfly on solomon's seal, mullein moth on verbascums and of course cabbage whites on brassicas. Agree that squishing eggs much less gruesome than dispatching the caterpillars.

I don't get it whenever people say they love butterflies then they destroy caterpillars, it perplexes me. If you don't want caterpillars on your cabbages grow other brassicas for them to eat instead - that way you get both butterflies and cabbages. At the very least if you feed the caterpillars etc to the birds you are  helping the birds. Hope Kitty4 can photograph  (to scale maybe) her caterpillars, and hope she finds loads more than 3

sotongeoff

Karen-that was the point I was trying to make- only you put it better than me.

It is the gardener's dilemma -if you encourage butterflies you will caterpillars but you don't want caterpillars you can't have butterflies.

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Gary Hobson

Also remember that no caterpillars means no blue tits, and many other small birds.

Choose life.

gardeningfantic

i dont mind them.. i go round and gather them all up and put them on area of wild meadow planting.. the dont seem to mind.. only ones that annoy me and hte mulliun moth ones.. they a nightmare..

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