Ask a Question forum: Boston fern

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Oct 30, 2016 3:35 PM CST
Our recently potted ferns are dropping lots of black hard balls on the floor around the plants. What are they? We found three black caterpillars but no more since but this.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Oct 30, 2016 7:34 PM CST
Look harder, Christine. The little black balls are caterpillar frass (a science-y word for poop). There must be more caterpillars if you're still seeing more frass.

Looking at night with a flashlight is sometimes helpful, as some caterpillars hide in the daylight and come out to feed at night. It's a natural adaptation so that they don't get eaten by birds.

So you have to let it get dark, then sneak up with your flashlight and nab those creepy crawlies. Have fun!

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

Nov 1, 2016 8:11 AM CST
Thanks so much! I will try the stealth approach Thank You!

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