The Q&A Archives: Will Praying Mantis Eat Caterpillars?

Question: We have some caterpillars in our apple trees. They lay small rounded eggs light yellow to white in color under a white web like round structure in the crevice of a leaf. They are small yellow with black spots along the sides. They have infested the apple trees. What predator can we buy or find that may wipe them out? Would praying mantis do the trick?

Answer: Preying mantids will eat almost anything that moves! Sounds like your apple tree has an infestation of leaf rollers. These caterpillars will go away soon, and the damage they do to the leaves of the tree shouldn't adversely affect the fruit. If it were in my garden, I'd leave the caterpillars alone, knowing that predacious wasps and other beneficial insects will discover the population and take care of them.

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