Caterpillars are butterfly or moth larvae that come in many different shapes, colours and sizes, but the damage they do is always the same. They ingest plant leaves as they feed, and thereby cause often irreparable damage to your trees. They are more abundant in the warmer weather.
Plant Parts: Leaves and fruit
Season: Spring - Summer
Symptoms: The eggs can be found on the under-surfaces of the leaves. They attack foliage and as they grow move up the plant. Sometimes attacking flowers and fruit parts - they grow to about 35mm long.
Control: They can be removed by hand or even left alone - a few eaten leaves is a small price to pay for the benefit of beautiful butterflys around your garden, pollinating your trees.
If you decide to spray, you can use products based on microbes, that are far less dangerous to you or other beneficial insects in the garden. Read all directions on the packaging. Check with your local nursery for other treatment suggestions.
References: Department of Agriculture & Food, Western Australia, Nature Garden, NSW Department of Primary Industries and the FST team.
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