zebra-striped catepillars

i have some zebra-striped catepillars who are all over my parsley -- like a whole family just appeared one day and began camping out. they are eating the be-geesis out of the parsley, too. are they likely to move on to other plants? should i be concerned? should i pluck 'em off and git rid of 'em?
thanks for any help.
steve snow
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Stephen Snow, MA, National Certified Counselor
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wrote:

Larva of black swallowtail butterflies most likely. Parsley can take quite a lot of damage and will come back, but if you object to them, the easiest way is to just pick them off and squash them. The will also eat parsley relatives, dill, anise, fennel, Queen Anne's Lace, and the like. If you don't have the right food, they will not be there. Their relatives, the giant swallowtail (yellow where the other one is black) munch on my citrus. Usually the mockingbirds and the wasps get them before they grow more than 1/2 in. long.
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Yup. I grow dill just for them. This year they must have laid dozens of eggs on my dill and there wasn't enough. Some I moved over to my Queen Ann's lace, but I was surprised that a few moved on over to the cilantro I had near by and seemed happy munching it. I never knew they liked cilantro. Next year I will have to remember to sow the dill every couple of weeks so there will be plenty of them for the caterpillars.
joelle
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Augh! No! Wait Please! Don't hurt em! They're beautiful butterflies...try floating row covers if you want your parsley! These little caterpillars are about to give you a greater gift than fresh breath and a garnish for your plate. Jane
"Where love stops, power

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