Caterpillar attack!

San Diego, CA

I found that inside every petunia flower in my backyard, there lived a caterpillar! After I removed the flower with the dweller inside it and throw them in trash can, and the next day, there is more caterpillars in the new flowers and buds. In the last few days I have been diligently removing caterpillars, but they can still show up.

Could someone show me a more effective way to remove them. I know that they will turn into beautiful butterflies, but before they change, my garden will be gone first. There is a canyon outside my garden filled with plants, why can't they just go chew on those plants?!

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Can you post a picture of one of these critters? That will help determine what they are and the method used to get rid of them.
They're larvae of something and you keep seeing them because there are eggs continually hatching even after you hand pick them.
You can use a spray made by Safers called Caterpillar Killer. It's an organism that the caterpillar eats and then dies before it can lay more eggs. It takes a few days for this to happen but it works and it isn't toxic like chemicals.
You can get it at HD, Lowes, etc. Mixes with water and you spray it on.

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I suspect what you have is budworm. The spray JasperDale recommends should work. The other thing that attacks petunias is leaf miners. They lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves and burrow into them, leaving a trail that shows up on the topside of the leaf. It looks like white veins. Some petunias are more resistance to these pests than others. The ones that are super floriferous seem to do better.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

I dealt with that with my spring petunias and then the petunias stopped blooming and I cut them back or just buried stems in the potting mix in the pot or basket they were in.. They rejuvenated and came back and again started to bloom. Those little rascals showed up again. Only on the petunias on the new blooms. Next spring I will plant again and start out with the Safers.

There was an absolutely beautiful butterfly in my back garden Tuesday. I thanked Heavenly Father and then asked the butterfly what he had been eating in my garden to get this far. I told my DH what I was thinking and he thought I was nuts. But that is normal thinking on his part when it comes to me and gardening. Sharon

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

This was my first time in many years to plant petunias, and now I remember why I gave them up. Leaf miners AND budworms. No more petunias for me.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

My petunias are re-blooming and the little critters have not showed up yet. But I know they will be back.

Hope you all had a great summer. We are dropping 20 degrees in 4 days. But I am ready. Sharon

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

We're still having very warm weather here, 80 yesterday, 72 today. My petunias are looking great, but I still won't plant them again.

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