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lisa_h_gw

Caterpillar on Baptisia

Lisa_H OK
12 years ago

Who is this? Please tell me it will be a butterfly...cause the bushes are full of them.

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Comments (11)

  • runmede
    12 years ago

    The Indigo Dusky Wing uses the Baptisia, but this is not its caterpillar.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Indigo Dusky Wing

  • bananasinohio
    12 years ago

    What a pretty little moth!
    -Elisabeth

  • Lisa_H OK
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Update: The genista just about killed my bushes. There is just a stem or two that are trying to come up. So....if anyone sees this caterpillar, keep it away from your baptisias!

    Lisa

  • susanlynne48
    10 years ago

    Lisa, your shrub should come back okay. Year before last, they devastated mine, too. I wasn't sure what they were until it was too late to destroy them all. A pretty moth, yes, but they can take down a Baptisia or Texas Laural or other pea-family shrubs in very short time. Sandy ID'd them for me, too. They are actually more destructive IMHO than beneficial or interesting.

    If you have large numbers of them, Lisa, and cannot get them under control by handpicking, I would consider....just consider.....using BT, on a day without wind, so it won't drift to other plants, etc., making sure you get coverage of the new growth because this is how they will ingest it. I know this is an extreme measure.

    OR

    Just allow them to "do their thing", trim back the damaged stems, and wait for the new foliage to emerge. This is the route that I took, mainly because I didn't want to use BT. It is my understanding that they will not kill established plants and they will grow back, but if plants are new, control measures might be necessary to maintain the life of the plant.

    It can take some time for the shrubs to throw up new foliage, so don't give up hope. When they do, you'll have to be vigilante for the appearance of larvae again. They came back on my Baptisia, but I kept pulling them off until the invasion had passed.

    Linda in Texas mentioned they have devastated the Texas Laurels in her area this year.

    I am going to be more proactive with some of these moths that are of a more destructive nature, like the Southern Pink Moth - another "cute, pretty little moth". However, its larvae consumes my Salvia blooms and completely devastates my beautiful Salvia, both foliage and bloom. This year I am going to very cautiously begin dosing with BT to rid the garden of them. It's either that or get rid of my Salvias. There is no "hand picking". There are hundreds and hundreds of them, and they feed at night and hide during the day. Bye Bye, SPM!

    Susan

  • Lisa_H OK
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Susan, my infestation was two years ago too. I haven't seen them since, fortunately! Those caterpillars totally killed one plant and so destroyed the other two that there are just a stem or two growing, even this year. I'm sure the drought last year did nothing to help them survive, though!

    It was really too late by the time I found them. I've put in two or three more in hopes I will have decent sized bushes in a few years.

    I hate to ask Linda to keep them all down in Texas, but I hope she does :)

    This is going to be a banner year for butterflies! I have seen so many already. I tried to get pics Saturday, but I didn't get any good ones.

  • christie_sw_mo
    10 years ago

    My baptisia is almost leafless! I was just trying to figure out what's eating it and came across this thread. They look just like the ones in your photos Lisa. I was hoping they would turn out to be some type of butterfly instead of moth so I'm disappointed but also disappointed that it may kill my plants. : (

  • butterflymomok
    10 years ago

    This year's infestation was horrible. I may have lost some of my baptisias that I've had for years. I finally began to handpick these guys and squash them. Next year, I will watch carefully for when they appear and be diligent about picking them off. I think it's going to take a season of destroying them to break the cycle.

  • Lisa_H OK
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    I had a few show up this year, but I wasn't messing with it, I hit the bush with Bt. That seemed to take care of it. My bushes still have not recovered from the first infestation.

    Lisa

  • nowyousedum
    7 years ago

    I've had hundreds on mine. Decided to just dig it up this year. Tossed whole plant in the trash at beginning of Spring. The plant came back! I, too, will use BT sparingly if they reappear. There is no way to hand-pick them all.

  • Lisa_H OK
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    My bush looks like it got snowed on every time I pull out the Bt. Those nasty caterpillars have no sympathy in my yard. I have one bush left out of three. I planted a couple of more. So far they haven't been affected, but I'm keeping my eye on them too...they will be harder to treat, they are in the middle of my garden.


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