Sunday, July 17, 2011

An Unexpected Visitor

A few weeks ago I noticed tiny little holes on some of the leaves on my jalapeno plants. After removing the leaves and watching them for awhile, those seemed to go away. That culprit was gone, but soon after I noticed something else was eating the leaves! I pulled off the leaves that were munched on and hoped it was a fluke and I'd be smooth sailing from then on.  Well - I was wrong, the bite marks continued and more and more leaves were being eaten. GGGGRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Last Sunday I'd had enough and I decided it was time to bust out the Bt again this year. I could only hope it was a caterpillar that was doing the damage. Whatever the culprit - it was eating the leaves of my pepper plants so the chances were good and after doing some research I can tell you that Bt kills most leaf eating caterpillars.

My suspicions were confirmed on Monday evening when I was watering my garden after work. After watering a windoxbox with flowers I turned around and was surprised to see a rather dark caterpillar on one jalapeno leaf munching on another leaf! I screamed like a little girl and didn't want to go NEAR it, but knew I had to.  

After calling a friend, breathing deep and calming down a little - I grabbed a pair of tongs, my pruners and got rid of the sucker! I wassssssssss going to kill it, but decided not to be a caterpillar killer and just threw it off my balcony floating on the leaf.  It may have died in the end - it's a long fall and all - but I didn't cut it in half like I'd originally planned.  Hey - it was an unwanted visitor after all!

I've checked every day, sometimes twice a day, and there are no new signs of caterpillars! I think the one I did find would have died anyway due to the Bt, but it wasn't dead when I found it.  I'm hoping the spray worked and I'll keep you updated if there are any signs of caterpillars returning!  

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