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Help me please this is an emergency

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by bestbuddytau on November 28, 2005 06:56 AM
hey guys i'm new can anyone answer me on this question? i live in the caribbean and this past weekend all of a sudden strange looking caterpillars or worms have invaded one of my plants. They have red feet and both ends of it is also red it has one black antenae and a blak and yellow ringed body. They are a whole lot of trouble as they are eating all the leaves and we can't do anything about it can anyone help me please.
by Patty S on November 29, 2005 12:28 AM
What plant is it that your caterpillars are invading? (Knowing what it's eating might help to narrow the culpret down.) For now, can you pick them off or knock them off with a spray of water? I know they'll just keep coming back, but at least that's better than watching them snack on your plant!

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by peppereater on November 29, 2005 12:48 AM
Bestbuddy...Patty is right on track.
One thing you should know is that caterpillars turn into either moths or butterflies. They normally feed on specific host plants, and have often hatched from eggs laid directly on those plants.
If this plant is an annual, or a vigorous growing perrenial, it may be that this is a natural cycle, and after the caterpillars feed, they will crawl off to pupate amd become eithher moths or butterflies, possibly very beautiful ones, and the plant may fully recover. For instance, a grow fennel both for the herb and to attract swallowtail butterflies. Have you seen a particular butterfly spending a lot of time around this plant? They may have been laying eggs.
If you hose them off, you should get partial control, and if you must erradicate them, see if you can find a garden center that carries either Dipel Dust or Thuricide liquid concentrate. These are two forms of Bacillus Thurengiensis, a natural bacterium that only kills caterpillars.
Another safe, natural product is Neem, sold under various brand names.

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