killer caterpillars - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Shirley Kosar
Vero Beach, Fl
Question by srk6
June 30, 2010
Red and yellow stripe caterpillars sucking life out of

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


I think you have butterfly larvae. I found this comment from another Florida gardener on a discussion site about snow on the mountain:

"Being an avid butterfly gardener, I would recommend this plant to attract beautiful blue, red and white butterflies (very patriotic). The caterpillars will appear first and the plant may suffer slightly, but it recovers quickly and very well. The caterpillars are very interesting to look at and move about in an inch-worm like manner. It does well in the South Florida area, spreading nicely but not overpowering the area it is planted in. I recommend the plant be placed in front of a fence and plant other attractive plants in front of it. This way, when the caterpillars appear and eat the leaves (which they will) you may still have an attractive area. If you are patient, you will be rewarded with lots of beautiful butterflies in your garden."

If you decide to must kill them, Bacillus thurengiensis or Bt is a biological control, a bacteria that kills only caterpillars and is safe to other insects, humans and animals. Follow package instructions.

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