Caterpillars seem to get thin then just hang and die.

This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  rob cooper 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    Topic
  • #52785

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Hi. I brought a whole lot of caterpillars inside off a large swan plant.(we have an orchard and sadly just have to spray when bug count is high). I picked lots of feed off the plant and put it in jars as usual. I spread the caterpillars into 3 large castles which I purchased some years back. They all looked fine for the first day and I’ve done this lots of times before. But it’s like some of them went “skinny” no plumpness in their bodies and then just hung and some fell to the bottom of the castle and were dead. (The ones I so called “tested/squashed” after they died, did not have the horrible black ooze from a disease)

    My only thought is maybe my house is too warm and dry. I do put dishes with pebbles and water in each castle, plus florist oasis in containers, well soaked with water. Plus I dampen down the paper towels on the bottom twice a day.
    I’ve since put them all outside again – close by, so I can tend to them and add more feed. In the past 24 hours I don’t see anymore dead ones. Any advice – most welcome. I can’t use the feed in the greenhouse, as I’m still fighting the white fly and have to spray in there. And the swan plant they were living on hadn’t been sprayed.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #52849

    rob cooper
    Participant

    cool

    #52848

    rob cooper
    Participant

    we now back on track jboys pupas and lots of little pillers

    #52843

    monkey
    Participant

    I also went through a very bad time with lots of cats dying in Jan/Feb for no reason that I could tell. So I stopped trying to raise them for some weeks, now they seem to be fine. I have lots of food at the moment with some in reserve in a netted area. Just as well as there are dozens of cats, Js & chrysalises on all the swan plants which are not in the netted area.
    However, last year I raised 281 butterflies, this year so far just 49, not a good year.
    Interestingly, a butterfly hatched yesterday with one hind wing almost non-existent; I put it out on a rose to enjoy the sunshine, intending to euthanase it later but it had disappeared. Then today I saw it flying around, not all that well, but enough to gain height & land on flowers, so I thought that was amazing!

    #52819

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you Rob. I’ve taken all advice on board. I will also spray the caterpillar castles and rinse off as instructed above. I am just leaving the rest of the pillars on the branches of large swan plant I picked and am hoping they will make it through.. fingers crossed. They are all isolated in a small area outside,by the house and to date, no more are looking skinny, or have dropped off. Two or three have turned into chrysalis, so I hope the last of them make it through. thank you again for all advice.. So helpful.

    #52814

    rob cooper
    Participant

    if you spray those plant need to be washed with a spray of water within about 1 to 2 mins to wash off the bleech

    #52813

    rob cooper
    Participant

    great but the bleech wash will not help any pillers if they got it thats it for them but helps new pilles on those plants sprayed but that plant must have no piller on it that may have it cheers

    #52803

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you for the information on the Caterpillars. I only lost 8.
    All the other ones (about 80) I’ve put back outside still on the same feed in jars, are now doing well. To date I haven’t seen any thin/flopped in-half, and I check about 3 times daily and there’s been no caterpillars dead on the ground.
    I will keep a good eye on them, but hopefully won’t have to spray with the 5% bleach. But that would be a good idea for the green house for next season. Knowing the paper wasp is not interested in the caterpillars outside gives one a certain peace of mind. But I have had to re-home a couple of praying mantis..
    Thank you for your help.. The Forum is a great way to glean and give information. Much appreciated..

    #52799

    rob cooper
    Participant

    this is usaualy a bacteria virus or even npv virus ive just had the same it may be spray residue to not sure but if bacteria be careful all plants or leaves need a 5% bleach wash aif the piller has it thats it any you have must be put into isolation and go no way near any new ones you have we lost over 50 pillers but now back on track

    #52798

    Daisyleigh78
    Participant

    I’ve been having the same problem…mine are outside and it’s only every now and then I find one but have been wondering what it is

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