Monday, 17 August 2015

Hungry Cabbage White Butterfly Caterpillars

Whilst dead heading the herbaceous border Ali noticed a change in the appearance in the group of Cleome. On closer inspection the reason was soon identified, hundreds of hungry caterpillars belonging to the Cabbage White Butterfly!

Many of the leaves, seed pods and newly emerging flower heads had been eaten. Quite partial to Cleome, the caterpillars had been having a feast until they were spotted. To prevent any further damage, and not wanting to use chemicals, Ali cut off the top of one plant that was covered in the hungry pests, removed the rolled leaves, cut off stripped and damaged leaves still being munched on, and hand picked the rest off. All the plant material and caterpillars were taken to the compost heap and placed on the top where they will be able to continue eating before they then move away to find a suitable pupation site. The life cycle will continue as the pupae hatch and the new butterflies emerge. 

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