I went out this morning & found these all over my squash & cuke plants. The plants were healthy 2 days ago but now are dying! What are these? Can I kill or destroy them? Do I have to Yank the plants or can they recover? I'm so upset. Any help is appreciated. I'm in Clearwater Florida if that makes any difference.
lOOKS LIKE THEY NEED A GOOD KILLING SPRAY. LOWE'S CARRIES LOTS OF INSECTISIDES AND SHOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO STOP THEM BEFORE THEY DESTROY PLANT AND FRUITS. GOOD LUCK!!
Well, I raise butterflies so normally I'm all for leaving caterpillars alone - but - there comes a time when they need to be dealt with. Go to the store and get something with BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) in it. It's a bacteria that will cause the caterpillars to stop eating and die. But make sure you only spray it on the plants you don't want caterpillars on!
OK. Thank u. Are their caterpillars that are helpful to other plants? Forgive my ignorance but this is my very first vegetable garden.. I will go get the by tho. Thank u again.
I don't know if caterpillars are particularly helpful but they are natural pruners. Each butterfly can only use specific plants (called a host plant) for its caterpillars so I'm careful around those in my garden. But some of the moth caterpillars are more generalists and can eat a wider variety of plants which sometimes makes them pests. I can only think of one butterfly that eats veggies - the Cabbage White butterfly does eat cabbage - but it's an introduced, invasive species so I don't feel particularly sympathetic toward it. If you've got caterpillars on your vegetables you can be pretty sure they're moths and they can probably find other plants to feast on instead of your veggies! For example, tomato hornworms eat tomatoes but will also eat other species in the nightshade family.
I would kill them as soon as possible. Looks like they have a big appetite.
Green worms don't make pretty butterflies.