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Rescuing Roses from tiny green Looper CaterpillarsRescuing Roses from Looper Caterpillars

I noticed that my roses were being decapitated, and that the leaves looked like swiss cheese. Clinging to the stems were masses of tiny green Looper Caterpillars. 

Itchy! My whole body started to feel itchy just seeing them on every stem I looked at. So I started flicking the tops of the stems, sending them flying, which I though was at least a start at getting rid of them.Rescuing Roses from tiny green Looper Caterpillars Miss 6 thought whatever I was doing was worth checking up on… Once she saw those tiny little caterpillars she was not impressed with me at all ”Mama! You should just pick them off!” she said, as she started pulling them off and collecting them in her palm.

I had no intention of following suit! …”That’s great honey! Just make sure you take them out of the garden after!”

Rescuing Roses from tiny green Looper CaterpillarsFive minutes later I looked out to see a friend out there with her picking them off too. Thirty minutes after that, three more friends. Now they were filling little pots with leaves to make homes for them. Miss 3 was as confident as her sister, but I caught the moment when she peered over to watch how it should be done. She hadn’t done it before, she watched and she learnt.

The kids took away more than 50 caterpillars in the morning, and were right out there again in the afternoon collecting more. Rescuing Roses from tiny green Looper CaterpillarsThere were a few kids briefly on the sidelines, but confidence and enthusiasm are infectious.

Something happened in me too I guess. The next day when they were all back for more, and a few little ones were having a tough time finding them, I picked caterpillars off for them! I guess something happens when you see kids teaching and encouraging each other to learn something that you didn’t even dare to do yourself.

Rescuing Roses from tiny green Looper CaterpillarsThis caterpillar collecting outdoor fun has gone on for days! Day two they were collected as many as day one… Day three, significantly less; day four, tough pickings; day five, hardly any… Great news for my roses! Great news for my neighbor… They moved onto her roses instead!

 

 

 

My Word of the Week: CONFIDENCE

This week I’ve stretched out of my comfort zone and followed suit, learning from my kids how to pick up tiny caterpillars.

I’m grateful that the less than great example of parenting I displayed wasn’t what shaped them this time around!; that Miss 6 was confident despite me; and that I got to see her passing that confidence onto others. Inspired and unafraid.

 

 

How do you know they’re Looper Caterpillars?

Looper Caterpillars are translucent green. They cling onto, and in alignment with plant stems. They start off tiny and grow to about 3cm in length. They move in typical caterpillar fashion, arching up their middle, and pulling the back legs up to the front ones before stretching out again. If they’re Looper Caterpillars, you’ll find black droppings.

How do you get rid of tiny green Looper Caterpillars?

The easiest way of getting rid of Looper Caterpillars is to pick them off your plants as you see them. You’ll need to repeat this process daily for about a week, as you’re unlikely to notice the tiny ones until they’re a little bigger! I read that you can squash them or feed them to your chickens… Or you can let your kids make collect them, make homes for them, and relocate them!

Linking up Rescuing Roses from Looper Caterpillars with #HowDoesYourGardenGrow, #MagicMoments, #LetKidsBeKids, #OutdoorPlay, #WordOfTheWeek & #CountryKids & #WhatsTheStory

 

21 Comments

    • Haha! I read that chickens love them!! …The girls are unfortunately FAR to attached to ours to spare any I’m afraid! 😉

  1. I have to say I definitely would NOT have been touching them either!! Even as a kid I’d run away from creepy crawlies! Love the way your little girl took control and sorted it all though 🙂
    – popping in from #WotW Linky

  2. Gosh what a busy few days you’ve had with the children rescuing the roses. Sounds like they’ve enjoyed rescuing caterpillars though! Lovely story, thank you for sharing #whatsthestory

  3. My children would be just the same. I love bugs, so I’d be helping them too. So glad your daughter could pass on her confidence and save the roses at the same time. Yeh! #HDYGG

  4. Oh my I itch when I see ants too – I do love nature but am such a wimp when it comes to creepy crawlies! Glad you found otu what was causing the problem and fixed it – thanks for sharing x

    • Haha @mammasaurus! What a relief to hear I’m not the only wimp around here 😉 …So we can be wimps and still love our gardens – love it!

  5. How great that the children enjoyed being pest control and helped save your roses! It sounds like they all had a great time creating little homes for their pets. Thanks for linking up and sharing your creepy crawly story with Country Kids.

    • Thanks @Coombemill, yes, those creepy crawly little pet homes have been on trips to school and nursery too! They were very happy with their nature boxes 🙂

  6. i am itching right now! we don’t get those here but we do get other sorts of worms. and i do not like dealing with them…

    • Thanks @lilmuselily, so nice with support on the itchy front! I really thought I might have thrown myself headfirst into hardcore gardening central 😉 Watching my little ones pick these critters from the bushes helped me no end… Good luck with your worms! 🙂

  7. Well done to the children for picking all those caterpillars off. It’s strange the way kids have no fear/eekyness over collecting them. It sounds like they had a great time too.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

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