.. and it happened in no more than five days. I was away on a trip, and
the parsnips looked good when I left. I see no caterpillars, though a
caterpillar must be because the leaves are eaten completely except the
veins. Five plants, interplanted amongst the tomatoes, are affected.
Three other were not. The main parsnip crop, 15 ft away, is unaffected
so far. Culprits? remedies? I may spray them with Sevin.
If it was a caterpillar, a prime suspect would be parsley worm (the larva
of the black swallowtail butterfly). They will feed on fennel, parsley,
dill, and other members of the carrot family (Apiaceae).
Like many swallowtail larvae, they start out resembling bird droppings.
When older, they develop an extrudable gland behind the head which
emits a strong odor to ward off preditors.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
I've had a HORRIBLE time with these little bastards! I can't even grow
Cauliflower or Brocolli in the spring, only in the winter when it's too
cold for them! They also attack the swiss chard somewhat, but don't do
major damage. Here, in this pic', they attacked my horseradish.
Sevin has done zilch to control them.
I need to, and intend to, go to the nursery and get some bacillus
It is supposed to be superior for caterpillar control!
I finally moved my chard into 1 gallon pots inside the greenhouse to
keep the moths off.
I've hand picked hundreds of these worms off my chewed plants. :-(
Dawn and dusk......
Sprout the Mung Bean to reply...
There is no need to change the world. All we have to do is toilet train the
Thanks to both of you. I am pretty sure it is a swallowtail because I
have seen several of them (they are beatiful) nearby. I have had a good
experience this year with the 'pillars, otherwise, simply because I
have put the dish of a houseplant pot in each garden, filled with water
(clearly I will continue that. It has also helped a lot with keeping
the birds off the raspberries). The cabbage 'pillars, for example, have
been exterminated (there were many early on, before I tried the water
dish), and I have the best crop in five years. Evidently the
swallowtail bugs are too strong tasting for the birds. I also have
monarchs on the milkweeds, also left alone by the birds.
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