Caterpillars, Pros And Cons

Monday, June 27, 2022

A few weeks ago, I wrote about butterflies. I love watching them. They are excellent pollinators and spiritually they hold more profound significance but... There is always a but, right?

In their younger life stage, butterflies are caterpillars. And the more beautiful these are, the more they seem to be pests.

So, when, a few days ago, I spotted a caterpillar on my favorite plant, my first reaction was, let's check if it has buddies close by. Because if it is alone and no eggs are on the bottom side of the leaf or the nearby leaves, the plant is safe! And that was luckily the case!

There are so many different species of caterpillars and I would be lying if I pretended I could differentiate them. Most of them are not harmful. As long as you don't detect a conglomerate of them in one location and less than 20% of your plant or flower's foliage is devoured, there is no need to take action. If this were the case, you need to identify the pest to be able to take the appropriate safety measure and cause the most minor damage to the environment.

Remember, Mother Nature keeps the balance. And pests are controlled by certain predators that coexist in the ecosystem. Birds, ladybird beetles, and wasps usually feed on caterpillars. Herbs and plants that have a strong smell are naturally deterrent for moths and butterflies, which might lay their eggs on your plants and flowers. So growing aroma-distinct plants, such as lavender, sage, and peppermint can help you control this pest without resorting to a chemical solution and give your garden a nice smell too!

Happy gardening!

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