Squishing caterpillars

It's just ocurred to me and I know it's the wrong time of year to be wondering about this but the advice from organic gardeners is to squish caterpillar 'pests'. I don't understand the point of attracting butterflies to the garden if that is what is recommended we do to their offspring. Any ideas?

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Posts

  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    It it's cabbage white offspring I'm happy to squish, I don't grow food to feed caterpillars. Need it for us. image

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,219

    I net the cabbages, so the butterflies can lay their eggs on the nasturtiums, and the birds can pick them off.image

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    Fidget, due to shortage of space I grow veg in with flowers so I can't easily net. Do net some that stand alone, but this year I've also had cabbage white caterpillars on some flowers and herbs image

  • clkclk Posts: 95

    I can't squish them at all - I put them on the bird table but sometimes they slink off. 

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,929

    Butterflies lay that many eggs some are going to get away even if you do squish them.  

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,604

    I will squish cabbage whites if they are eating brassicas, (but I don't grow many of them).

    I wouldn't dream of squishing anything else (other than vineweevils and leatherjackets).

    clk wrote (see)

    ........... I don't understand the point of attracting butterflies to the garden if that is what is recommended we do to their offspring. Any ideas?

    And when it comes to attractng butterflies to the garden, we need to be planting food plants for their caterpillars, as well as nectar for the adults.image

     

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

     I don't see the point in killing the very things you're trying to attract, but you need to decide what it is you want to do in your garden. Advice given by experts is all too often just rules they were told. We should never blindly follow rules. That advice could well have been good for the farmer getting a crop to market. It may make it easy to harvest or easy to store the produce or make the size of the crop greater. The advice may have no relevance to us with very different requirements. For example a famer grows for weight, you, if growing food, want flavour. Those two requirements are sometimes inversely proportional.

    If you have a well balanced garden you won't nee to kill anything. Personally I didn't become a gardener to be a butcher.

  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    Most of the butterflies we are trying to attract lay their eggs on nettles. The caterpillars that are a pest on plants other than brassicas are usually types of saw fly

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,604

    Nettles are the primary larval foodplant for several of the more easily recognisable butterflies, but there are loads more butterflies whose larval foodplants are becoming more and more scarce - it wouldn't be too difficult to plant a few of them in our gardens image

    http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/foodplants.php

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    Hi Dove, that's a good link.   No point growing Barren strawberries for Grizzled Skipper if they don't live in your area. image

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