Hibiscus forum: Need ID for caterpillar that is eating hibiscus

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Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Aug 29, 2015 7:09 PM CST
What is this eating the hibiscus leaves? I saw a few caterpillars on the underside of the leaves and by the end of the same day there were six to ten on the back of each leaf. I also saw white "winged" bugs that I did not get a picture of. They were not whiteflies. They were much bigger. The caterpillars were about an inch long and the white bugs were 1/2" to 3/4" long. In this picture, you can see off to the right a small bit of white. Perhaps it is a shriveled up shell from the white bug???? I dusted the plant with Seven and the next day ALL the caterpillars and bugs were gone. I would like to know what they were for future care of the plant.
Thumb of 2015-08-30/petruske/27bebf


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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Aug 29, 2015 7:22 PM CST
Possibly Sawfly Caterpillars.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
Plant Identifier Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Seed Starter Cat Lover Region: Georgia
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Danita
Aug 29, 2015 7:58 PM CST
Hibiscus Sawfly larvae. I hate them!
They are sometimes called caterpillars but aren't Lepidoptera (moth & butterfly) caterpillars.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Aug 29, 2015 10:15 PM CST
These LOVE hibs, if you have one you have dozens. I sometimes pop them between the leaves to kill them. They will eat your leaves all up completely.
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Rose1656
Aug 30, 2015 2:27 PM CST
A fellow hibiscus lover on here gave me a recipe to kill these nasty little things. Mix dish soap and cooking oil in one gallon of water and spray it on tops and bottoms of leaves. It really does work, but I did have to use it twice this season.
[Last edited by Rose1656 - Aug 30, 2015 2:29 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Aug 30, 2015 6:01 PM CST
Rose 1656,
It might help to specify how much dish soap and cooking oil to mix in that gal. of water. Whistling
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Aug 30, 2015 6:17 PM CST
Thank you all so much for the information. I suspected the Sawfly from looking it up onthe internet. But I didn't see the Sawfly itself on the plant, just the caterpillar. I JUST COULDN'T believe how much they increased within a day. WOW! If I had not caught it right away, I'm sure they would have stripped the entire plant. Thank you Rose for the dish soap, cooking oil, and water spray recipe. I like to keep from using pesticides (but will if it means saving a plant). This sounds like a good alternative to try.
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Rose1656
Aug 30, 2015 6:51 PM CST
Sorry...Pandora said about 1/8 tsp of each added to water. I don't think I really measured though. Mine was probably a little stronger.

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