roraima10
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What is this thing that's eating my herbs!? (pic)

While trying to find the culprit for all the holes I was seeing on my parsley leaves, I found a few of these guys happily strolling on the soil between my basil, parsley, and oregano and also on some of my parsley leaves. All three plants are in the same container and they all have small round holes in their leaves, but the parsley is worse.

This picture is of one I found on a leaf. It fell before I could take a picture so here it is on a tarp. I can't find info on this guy and to be honest, I don't even know what to label it as. Anyone have any ideas? How can I get rid of this problem?

[img]https://i764.photobucket.com/albums/xx288/SoFla94/DSCN2339.jpg[/img]

Here is a bigger guy of a darker color. He was heading towards the oregano when I saw him. He's here next to a parsley stem.

[img]https://i764.photobucket.com/albums/xx288/SoFla94/DSCN2337.jpg[/img]


Thanks!

The Helpful Gardener
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Are there pines anywhere around these plants?

HG
Scott Reil

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!potatoes!
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they could be small swallowtail butterfly caterpillars, they're a pretty standard parsley pest...but they're still pretty cool.

roraima10
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Thanks for the replies! I don't think there are any pines around here except maybe one potted plant that sort of looks like a pine from years ago. I looked up the swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on google but these guys don't look quite like them. I've added a more recent picture of one I found that seems to have grow to be an inch long. It was hanging out on my basil along with another buddy. If it is a caterpillar, how do I stop them from eating my herbs and making more babies?

[img]https://i764.photobucket.com/albums/xx288/SoFla94/DSCN2341-1.jpg[/img]

Thanks!

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applestar
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Simplest control is to just pick them off. You have choice of squishing them, tossing them in the trash, tossing them over the fence, tossing them in the bird feeder for the birds, tossing them in the pond for the fish, etc..... :wink:

FWIW -- A Google search for "caterpillar green stripe black spot" yielded:
"12. First and second instars are pale green with dark heads; older caterpillars are green to almost black with stripes along each side; always have a black spot on the side above the second pair of legs (counting from the head, Fig.72) Beet armyworm." at https://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG136/caterkey.html

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!potatoes!
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it's definitely a caterpillar, and it won't make more babies...but another butterfly could fly through and lay more eggs...

roraima10
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Thanks for all the replies! I realized they themselves wouldn't make babies after I revisited my elementary school lessons in my head. But I just screamed like I saw a murderer when I saw two more on my oregano ....and kept screaming while trying to take them off. :shock: You'd think being a veterinarian I'd be used to wormy things...ew. Anyway, thank you all for the info! :)

Gerrie
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Butterflies and moths seem rampant this yr. here, don't know why, I'm bracing myself for a similar infestation.
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