Parsley Worm question

landey1230August 8, 2007

We just went through our monsoon season and all the critters are out to play. I noticed parsley worms all over my shrubs and apple tree. My wife doesn't like them too much, but I wonder if they are any harm. Will parsley worms affect or damage my plants/tree? Here's a link of what they look like.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackstarjewelry/592925466/

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The caterpillar that you have illustrated is the caterpillar of the Black Swallowtail butterfly. These caterpillars will be found on parsley and very closely related plants and not on apples, etc. I suspect that this is a case of mistaken identity.

On their host plants (parsley, carrots, dill, etc.), these beautiful caterpillars will gladly eat until there is no more, then will find a place to pupate so that the transformation into a butterfly can occur.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 10:03AM
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landey1230

Oh boy. So, how can I get rid of them without hurting my plants?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 8:07PM
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lisasmall(7a NoVa)

Because they're found on food plants such as parsley and dill, the only solution is to hand-pick them - but then you won't get the butterflies they are soon to become. You can't poison them because then you can't eat your herbs.

Dill is so easy, I just plant extra and let them have it. Dill, fennel, parsley, rue - I see someone mentioned carrots but I have no experience with that. If I really wanted to save my dill, I'd pick them up and put them on the fennel, which grows like a great bronze cloud with no help from me.

They taught me to respect my rue. They ate it down to nothing in practically no time - just a tiny green stub - and it came back!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 8:37AM
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