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18 messages
25/05/2012 at 16:30

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?

25/05/2012 at 16:32
Probably. Can you describe them? And what plants did you see them on?
26/05/2012 at 15:14

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

It was thin and 1.5 to 2 inches long.

26/05/2012 at 16:01

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

26/05/2012 at 22:21

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

26/05/2012 at 22:25

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

Don't all caterpillars turn into butterflies or moths?

26/05/2012 at 22:30
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.
27/05/2012 at 06:01

they could also turn into sawfly

27/05/2012 at 06:07

colour would help

27/05/2012 at 07:07

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?

27/05/2012 at 08:35
ID them I guess...
27/05/2012 at 12:54

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

27/05/2012 at 13:15
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.
28/05/2012 at 07:26

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

28/05/2012 at 09:40

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.

28/05/2012 at 10:11

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

Choose life.

28/05/2012 at 11:36

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..

29/05/2012 at 07:42

I grow nasturtium especially for the whites

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