Caterpillars or worms on my Lemon and Lime Trees!

janice560February 12, 2010

Can anyone tell me why there might be caterpillars or worms on both my Lemon and Lime trees? The leaves are definitely being eaten by something and I'm not sure what to treat them with. Help!

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The only caterpillars we've found on our 2 Meyer lemon trees and orange tree have been Giant Swallowtail Butterfly cats. We just let them munch away. They eat a lot but our trees have never been harmed by them. They're amazing to watch.

Does it look like the one in this photo? If the answer is yes, watch and wait to be WOWed.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 6:18PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Janice, if caterpillars are the culprit, you should be able to track them down! They can't fly away, can they? ;-0

The most commonly found caterpillar on citrus is, as love savannah says, the Orange Dog (larval stage of the beautiful Giant Swallowtail). Look for globs of bird droppings of various sizes on the foliage....that is the clever disguise of these cats.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 8:05AM
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Love savannah's orange dog shows usually why
they are usually mistaken for a something your
birds left.

If you have snails or large slugs, they may come
out at night and eat it away. I had that in
Houston. Go out on a warm night after midnight
with a flashlight and see.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 1:21AM
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Yes!!! This is a Giant Swallowtail caterpillar!! He will not eat enough to hurt your citrus tree!! They are amazing and you are blessed to have one in your yard! The chrysallis looks like a pice of broken branch - about three weeks it goes into chrysallis, A BEAUTIFUL Giant swallowtail will emerge - the LARGEST butterfly in North America!!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:16PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Janice, check underneath the leaves that have been eaten, and under surrounding leaves to look for snails. My citrus are being attacked by snails something awful this year. I have copper tape, and need to wrap the trunks, and sprinkle Sluggo underneath as well. Worst I've ever seen.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:35PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

People! Janice's post is from over a year ago! ;-)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:16PM
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