protecting caterpillars

This topic contains 28 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  rob cooper 1 year, 2 months ago.

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  • #13018

    Anonymous

    We’ve been told to bring caterpillars indoors to protect them from wasps and praying mantis. We’ve seen wasps on the swan plant. We’ve put four caterpillars of varying size in a big glass vase with some swan plant. Is this ok?

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  • #16938

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Hi Shenagh

    It’s a learning curve… Usually when they hang into a J but they’re too small, it’s a sign that their food has been insufficient for their needs and they’ve sort of ‘given up’ on growing any more. So it’s important to have good food supplies at all times – if you see you’re going to get low then get some more food or expect this sort of thing.

    I would stick with them indoors, or under cover. Try throwing an old net curtain over the plant outside. It doesn’t have to provide 100% cover – and the Monarchs can lay their eggs through the net but it will be a deterrent for the wasps. Net curtains are cheap as chips (or cheaper) at op shops.

    Jacqui

    #16931

    Anonymous

    Unfortunately our first rescue attempt was a disaster. We had four caterpillars inside. One small one fell in the water and drowned. Two tried to form a crysalis but were probably too small. They just sort of shrivelled up after hanging in the J position for a while. I put a small one back on the plant outside but haven’t seen it since. The plant is alive with wasps. What to do??

    #16880

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    That’s fine Shenagh. You will be surprised at how much frass (caterpillar poo) they make, and they may also wander. I stand my vase on a tray of water – just a touch of water – to act as a moat to keep them in the vase. Then I put the tray on a lot of newspaper because frass rolllllls. 🙂

    The other option is just to throw a net curtain over your swan plant, and this protects the plant from the wasps. But having them on your table means you’ve got the fascination throughout the day. It’s great entertainment.

    Jacqui

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