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Caterpillars are eating my willow!

I have a potted kilmarnock willow which I have had for about 10 years. I recently noticed that a lot of the leaves were turning brown or getting holes in them. On closer inspection I have found tiny green caterpillars eating the leaves. I do not know the type of caterpillar - it is less than a centimetre long, light green, with a yellow line along the underside, the head is black with a yellow band behind it. Looking onlne it could be a Dolerus Ferrugatus

Any advise on how to get rid of this caterpillar as safely as possible please.


  • Probably a sawfly species from the description and a spray with a strong but fine jet from the hose (fine so it doesn't damage the foliage),  should knock them off for the birds to pick up. I don't use pesticides and such, so always resort to mechanical/physical methods.


  • image

    Yes, I have at least 6 puss moth caterpillars eating my flame willows, so I'm going to don some gloves and pick them off ? may give to the birds! 

  • Dear Wendy

    If you ever get any more pussmoth caterpillars I would love  to have them and would be pleased to pay for postage etc.

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