Any idea what this is and how I can get rid of them to save my willow trees. The leaves have been turning brown and dropping so I sprayed with a bug spray. Three of these were lying on the ground under one of the four trees when I got home tonight.
This looks like a poplar hawk moth, they eat willow as well.
They won't make the leaves turn brown though. Maybe its a fungus like anthracnose.
Another indiscriminate spraying.
Death to some harmless creatures and no help to tree
I think it's a hawk moth too. Should not harm a tree so it is probably a virus that affects willows. It weakens the tree over a few years.
Well done Kris. Shoot first. Good stuff.
Kris didn't know ... and the pesticide companies market their poisons as if all insects are pests, and they don't say check what you're spraying for first.
It's sad that these have died.
If we can help Kris to get his willows more healthy, hopefully there'll be more caterpillars next year and he'll enjoy knowing his trees are contributing to improving the much needed population of moths and other pollinating insects.
This is exactly why I was asking if anyone thought that a five-minute educational programme about things that live in our gardens on TV would be a good idea.
Education is always good
The problem is that so often these programmes are only watched by the people who are already interested in the subject ... lots of people don't develop an interest until they think something is killing their plants ...
Or they only develop an interest after they have killed the thing that is ... Oh well.
I'm off to the dentist for a little light relief. Syl.
I had taken one of the brown infected leaves to the garden nursery for advice and it was suggested that it was a fungus so was given the pesticide to use and prevent it spreading further and completely destroying these beautiful trees. It was only after I had treated them for the fungus that I found these caterpillars which is what prompted a google search and found this forum. It was not a shoot then ask situation. I had thought approaching a "local expert" was the right thing to do. Only when I noticed the caterpillar did I question what was killing the trees as they are clearly not a fungus, so I reached out. Due to their colouring, they are camouflaged and I could not see them. Had I have seen them, then I would have mentioned this to my local nursery.
Thank you to those with helpful constructive advise.