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Symtpoms Young leaves can be eaten away and more mature plants are left unsightly.

Spot them

There are many species of caterpillar that trouble the ornamental garden. Almost all are moths and include Angle shades, Brown tail, Buff tip, Carnation tortrix, Hawthorn webber, Lackey, Leopard, Goat, Silver Y, Small ermine, Vapourer and winter moths.

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Echinacea. Caterpillars in the flower heads

Question from Isabel Wakefield

My white swan Echinacea are currently plagued with small greenish caterpillars that are living in the flower heads. They spin threads and pull the petals in to cover themselves whilst they eat little furrows across the flower head. When they are exposed and irritated they wriggle furiously and drop off to the ground. Any idea what they are and how to combat them?

  • Views: 783
  • Replies: 0
  • Posted: Sat. 8th August 2015 20:10


Question from Jayne

So what are you supposed to do about them? I'm torn between saving my plants and protecting wildlife... If you have plants to attract butterflies, doesn't it follow that you will have caterpillars?!

  • Views: 922
  • Replies: 5
  • Posted: Fri. 1st August 2014 09:41
  • Last reply: Sat. 2nd August 2014 19:17


Question from Peter Vaspe

Could anyone help identify these caterpillars found on one of our cob nut trees?

  • Views: 731
  • Replies: 0
  • Posted: Sun. 28th July 2013 17:05


Comment from ADRIAN PORTER

In autumn of 2010 I planted lots of polyanthus plants and Pansies everyone was eaten by caterpillars.Big cuts and holes appeared in the leaves eventually only the ribs were left.I have planted all My summer bedding and there are still caterpillars they have overwintered in the hanging baskets and are now starting too eat Bgonia and Pelargonium leaves , I treated them today with BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS THURICIDE what are the caterpillars will this Bacteria get rid of them?

  • Views: 1095
  • Replies: 4
  • Posted: Wed. 11th May 2011 19:21
  • Last reply: Fri. 13th May 2011 06:41

R. Everred

Question from Karen Ellis

Foliage is being eaten - holes in leaves. Can't see anything on the leaf except hole. What might it be? Cure?

  • Views: 1553
  • Replies: 8
  • Posted: Sun. 8th May 2011 16:31
  • Last reply: Tue. 27th August 2013 17:13