Sunday, July 26, 2009

Plants and Caterpillars

I think I failed to explain about the caterpillars. They all died. I read that maybe 1 out of 10 caterpillars will actually become a butterfly and even only 3-4%. They would half come out of their skin to make a pupa and then just die. Don't know why. We had a total of 10 caterpillars and after the 6th one died I jarred the other four to clean the plant with a mild bleach water solution to get rid of a disease that may have been killing them. The three little ones died in the jar and so I let the last one go and he was fine for about 24 hours on the milkweed outside, but then I went out to look for him and he was on the ground convulsing in death throes. I was so upset about these blasted caterpillars dying that I was in a funk for days.

Anyway, outside on the milkweed, I have found four of the monarch caterpillars. Three of them are pretty big and the one is newly hatched. The milkweed is just covered in milkweed aphids. I've been pretty diligent about spraying with a soap solution to control the aphids but they just keep coming back and in larger numbers. I was just going to spray with a chemical aphid killer but now that the caterpillars on there, I think that's a bad idea.

Now there are these caterpillars on the plant, too. What are they???
Look at our beautiful sunflowers. I think the one must be 12 feet tall!! Daisy's and sunflowers: happy flowers!


Marie said...

awww... that's really sad about the caterpillars. But, the sunflowers look great!

Meagan said...

the natural enemy of the aphids is lady bugs *I think*. You could mail order a group. I hear that as long as there is sufficient food, that they will stay wherever released. I hear you can sometimes even get them at the plant nurseries.... i have asked around some around here and not been to successful.

Lawanda said...

Pretty flowers :)

Around my flower bed, I have noticed there are TONS of butterflies and bees!!!!

I actually got stung while weeding here a while back.

But the butterflies/moths/whatever they are, are very pretty all flitting around out there!!