Friday, July 22, 2016

July 22

Well the caterpillar business is slow to pick up this year, but I'm hopeful!!  I spent many hours, and many miles walking looking for caterpillars last weekend, with NO luck at all.  But I have found eggs.  I cannot post pictures of eggs because I do not have a high enough power camera, but if you're interested in what they look like I suggest you look online.  There are lots of good photos much better than I could post here.  I found 3 tiny caterpillars today.  One that I hatched from an egg, the others are very recently hatched.  I have also marked 3 eggs in my garden that I will watch and hopefully capture before anything harms them.
Do Monarch caterpillars have predators?  A few years ago I probably would have answered that question with "not many"...however, I believe now that they do.  Especially if there are not as many Monarchs laying eggs so Caterpillars are in short supply already.  So the other insects in my garden that I believe harm my cats are Japanese Beetles, Wasps, Milkweed Beetles and even other caterpillars.  I have reached out to experts regarding this, and have not gotten any solid answers, so these are just my personal observations.  If anyone out there reads this and has other information, please feel free to comment.  I would also be interested to know what to do about these other pests.  Since I can't use a pesticide because I don't want to harm the cats I have tried natural remedies such as peppermint oil for wasps, and Lemon with Cloves but it doesn't seem to be working.  The Japanese Beetles I can pick off, but I can't pick off wasps! So I just do what I can to protect the caterpillars and eggs as I find them.  Keep the faith, and happy caterpillar hunting!

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