|I have tons of these critters and do not want my garden nor flowers wasted. What can I do and what is the natural enemy of the catapillars? They are everywhere eatting all my green leaves..|
|Almost every landscape near the Olympic Peninsula is being attacked by tent caterpillars, and there really isn't much a gardener can do about them because they're everywhere! When caterpillar populations get really large, benefical wasps come to the rescue. They lay their eggs inside the caterpillars (as evidenced by a white spot on the top of a caterpillar's head). When the wasp's eggs hatch, the larvae consume the insides of the caterpillar. While this sounds gruesome, it's nature's way of achieving a balance. If you simply can't wait for the parasitic wasp population to take care of the caterpillars, you can apply B.t. (Bacillus thuringensis) to your favorite plants. B.t. is a bacterium that acts as a stomach poison and is effective against all caterpillars. Once you've sprayed your plants, expect the caterpillars to continue to feed - until the bacterium begins to work. |
Don't worry too much about the damage the caterpillars have done to your plants. Healthy plants will produce new leaves later in the summer. Best wishes with your garden!