do "loopy" caterpillars start from? They are bright green with legs
front and back and loop in the centre when moving. They play havoc
with my geranium leaves, leaving them full of holes.
caterpillars, or "loopers" as they are also known, are the larvae
of a group of moths and feed on a wide range of plants. They hatch
from eggs laid by the adult female moth, which in some cases can
lay up to 1000 eggs in her short life. Loopers can range in colour
from green to brown depending on species and are generally around
30-40mm long at maturity.
You can squash them with
your fingers when still small or spray them. There's a wide range
of products you could use, such as derris dust, garlic and pyrethrum
and Mavrik, although if damage isn't severe or particularly disfiguring
you could simply do nothing as most plants can tolerate losing a
few leaves to loopers.
Gardener, Issue 154, 2004, Page 26
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.