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Butterflies, Harbinger of Disaster!!

This is a discussion on Butterflies, Harbinger of Disaster!! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Talk about this time being the time for bugs and ants. Well, its the time ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Butterflies, Harbinger of Disaster!!

    Talk about this time being the time for bugs and ants. Well, its the time for those pretty butterflies to lay their eggs as well. When the eggs hatch, disaster!!

    See the butterfly in my avatar? I found it flying around my growing area few days ago. I had a suspicion then that it might have laid eggs somewhere. This morning that suspicion came true, 3 new growths on one of my Dendrobium wiped out by one fat caterpillar. Its head still stuck inside one of them when I found it this morning ests: ests: . I don't feel sorry for squashing the little bugger.

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    See.. this is one of those issues where I am not sure about... I'm not allowed to squash anything in front of TOH so I do it when no one is looking hehehehe...

    actually with catterpillars, I tend to opt for removing it and then putting it on another plant I am not too fussed about.. like say... those Iris or other tubers

    Of course, I have had those moments when I have seen my favourite white Dend kingianum eaten and the beast is as fat as anything... but alas, it was during a moment when someone was looking so no squashing...

    Mealies and Aphids on the other hand... definitely squash em...

    cheers
    T

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    Difficult decision. Keep in mind though that most species of butterflies will only seek out a very specific plant to lay their eggs and the caterpillars will only eat very specific plants. A good example of that would be the monarch butterfly. They only eat plants in the milkweed family.

    I've never had a problem with damage from caterpillars probably because orchids are not a native plant and they don't have a taste for the leaves. Around here, butterflies are almost nonexistent these days. Very sad.

    In my mind at least I think the best approach is to deal with each offending critter individually instead of spraying everything with mass amounts of pesticides. So many creatures (good and bad) are just being wiped out by the rampant use of these chemicals.

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    Caterpillars here can be a real problem. The butterflies lay their eggs in the trees, and when those hatch out, the caterpillars form huge silk tents and ravage whatever foliage they're near. Everyone here calls them "bagworms," and people wrap rags or old pieces of carpet around the ends of long poles, dip them in kerosene, light them, and try to burn the tents (and caterpillars) out.

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    Wow! You Arkansas folk don't mess around! If I went outside and held a tourch anywhere near a tree, even though it had tent caterpillars, I'd be arrested! (if PETA didn't get me first)

    Quote Originally Posted by LJA
    Caterpillars here can be a real problem. The butterflies lay their eggs in the trees, and when those hatch out, the caterpillars form huge silk tents and ravage whatever foliage they're near. Everyone here calls them "bagworms," and people wrap rags or old pieces of carpet around the ends of long poles, dip them in kerosene, light them, and try to burn the tents (and caterpillars) out.

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    For some reason I think caterpillars from moths seem to be more destructive than most butterfly species. Probably because they lay more eggs? Just seems like the really destructive ones are almost always moths.



    Bagworms turn into moths, not butterflies. Remember? I was the child entomologist.

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    This is strange. I just noticed that all the ads appearing in this thread are about butterflies? That can't be an accident.

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    I do what Louis posted , nasty little the neighbor across the street had a huge tree full of them , one morning I went out and the front yard was alive with them . I had to spray the whole thing , made me mad , poisioned everythng in the yard . I told him about it and to get Seven and scatter it around the base of the infested tree , That stopped them . The only other thing regarding a caterpiller ( not a tent worm ) was one year I put my Phals. out and found one eating holes in the leaves . I moved it, and took the Phals in . I looked at the butterfly ads interesting Gin

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    The worst caterpillar I ever had was some sort of a cutworm type thing (again, a type of moth). A few years ago, they almost destroyed everything in my garden. Entire plants would be stripped of leaves every morning. I never could see any of them and then started digging around in the garden. There were hundreds and hundreds of them just below the surface of the soil. I guess they came out at night to feed.

    That was the only time I've ever nuked my entire garden with killer stuff. It worked.

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    I am 100% with Kev on this one! All those really destructive caterpillars (tent caterpillars, cankerworms & bagworms) are moth larvae. By all means, spray them if they are defoliating your plants.

    I would really have a problem, however, with running out to spray individual butterflies--most of their caterpillars would not be able to survive on exotic orchids. Perhaps I should mention I deliberately planted swamp milkweed in my garden to attract monarchs and, I hope, nourish their caterpillars.

    As far as PETA goes, I think they're a bunch of hysterical kooks who do real environmentalists a great deal of harm with their warped views--the good they do is definitely is compromised by their harm.


    Cheers,

    Rob

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