What's Bugging Your Garden? The Caterpillars (Moths or Butterflies)

| 6/23/2013 11:02:01 AM

What’s Bugging Your Garden 

The Caterpillars (Moths or Butterflies) 

These really destructive garden pests are the larvae of moths or butterflies.  Generally, they go through four stages—egg, larva, pupa, and adult moth or butterfly.  The larva, or caterpillar, stage is the most troublesome for gardeners.  After hatching from eggs, caterpillars feed almost continuously on vegetables until they enter a dormant pupal state.  All adults have wings.

Cabbage loopers are pale green 1/12 inch long caterpillars that are sometimes called measuring worms because they fold into a loop and then stretch to full length as they crawl.  They chew irregular holes in the leaves of many vegetables.  The adult, an inch long, brown-gray moth, emerges in the Spring and lays single eggs on the upper surface of leaves.  The eggs hatch in about two weeks on the vegetables, and four or more generations may appear in a single year.  It is found throughout the United States and Canada.

 cabbage looper   

Cabbage looper     Photo courtesy OrganicGardenInfo.com