Pests and Diseases forum: Azalea Caterpillars

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Name: Trux
Orlando Florida (Zone 9b)
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Trux4
Jul 9, 2013 4:31 PM CST
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I picked about 3 quarts of these fat fuzzy caterpillars off my azalea hedge in the past 2 days. Plopped them in soapy water then dumped them out under the bird feeder. Anyone know if birds will eat these bad boys?

I read on another forum that they don't cocoon but they dig into the ground (after I had dumped them on the ground. ugh)


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So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jul 9, 2013 5:26 PM CST

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Welcome! Welcome to ATP! Welcome! Unfortunately, I can't find any reference to birds dining on this particular caterpillar. These guys are unique in that they tend to feed side by side in a group and, when disturbed, raise their heads or rears in unison. They are also most active in August and September. It is believed that they only lay eggs once per year in the spring (80-100 eggs on the back of a leaf) so there is only one generation produced annually. Handpicking is an effective treatment (as is Bt and the standard pesticides) but you may want to toss them in a bin next time. In addition to azaleas, they are also known to chew on red oaks, blueberry bushes, and the occasional apple tree. Again, Welcome! to ATP. Perhaps someone else knows if birds will eat them.
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jul 10, 2013 7:56 PM CST
Trux, let us know if the birds dined on these guys or left them alone. Sometimes personal observation is the best information.
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Name: Trux
Orlando Florida (Zone 9b)
Composter Herbs Permaculture Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Trux4
Jul 12, 2013 9:01 AM CST
It looks like the ants are the only thing interested so far. My poor azaleas. They devoured every leaf on one of the bushes before I caught on to them.

You can solve all the world's problems in a garden. G.Lawton
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 12, 2013 9:46 AM CST
They do that but the Azaleas just grow new ones. Caterpillars are good bait. Do you like to fish?
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