Caterpillars......ACK!

Help! Little, tiny, green caterpillars (with a little black on them too) are FEASTING on my hardy hibiscus!! Whole leaves are munched away! Can anyone tell me what these are, and how to get rid of the suckers??? I have a puppy so chemicals need to be puppy-friendly..... Thanks! Lori
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For some inexplicable reasons, "~ Lori ~" <ljadkins@keep yer junkmail.comcast.net> wrote:
:Help! Little, tiny, green caterpillars (with a little black on them too) :are FEASTING on my hardy hibiscus!! Whole leaves are munched away! Can :anyone tell me what these are, and how to get rid of the suckers??? I have :a puppy so chemicals need to be puppy-friendly.....
Though the greater part of me laments the days when every neighborhood had caterpillars munching leaves without horrifying humans equipped with chemical sprays, we are not apt ever to see those days again, not in regions anywhere near cities, towns, suburbs, unincorporated areas, HOAs, or gated communities with deed restrictions.
I've lived long enough to see so many insect behaviors become criminalized and their rights and privileges whittled away for all sorts of rational-seeming reasons. Does anyone *really* think this same spreading attitude against caterpillars will permit other insects and noxious plants to roam at will?
I sure don't say it's a good thing that such restrictions are coming. I really don't mind caterpillars visiting me, never understood why the occasional proto-butterfly gets some people up in arms. But it's a fact, the days of the free-range caterpillar is going to go the way of the free-range kudzu. Animal lovers will say its to protect the life of the insect, others will say it's because letting caterpillar poop in neighbors' gardens is a public health issue, or that letting caterpillars roam about killing whatever little bit is left of native flora, particularly endangered species, is criminally irresponsible. Someday -- sooner than they may right now believe -- caterpillars will risk fines, arrest, or imprisonment, as well as the "putting down" of the caterpillars for devoring a peony, or for building a cocoon without a permit. You might learn how to squish caterpillars underfoot; that way, you'll be prepared for the heavy boot of government before it squishes you.
(Seriously, either pick them off by hand or try some Bacillus thuringiensis, which should kill them without harming your puppy.)
--
Wendy Chatley Green
snipped-for-privacy@cris.com
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