The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Yellow-necked caterpillars

Yellow-necked caterpillars

Defoliated apple treeThis has been a bad year for caterpillars on fruit trees. First came the fall webworms, who ate through leaves like nobody's business. And this month the yellow-necked caterpillars hit one of my dwarf apple trees.

I'm not used to worrying about caterpillars other than cabbageworms, actually. We have so many wild predators --- like wasps and birds --- that most infestations are gone in short order. But ignoring the issue didn't make it disappear in either case this year, so I resorted to hand picking.

As you can see in the photo to the right, I should have picked a little sooner. I only found about a dozen caterpillars in our apple tree, but they were all big and fat after eating about a third of the available leaves. Luckily, the nibblers died quickly when dropped in a jar of plain water --- problem solved!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Ha! I found some of these on a couple of bushes I had. Fed them to the chickens and boy the fight that went on between them as to who got the tasty morsel was amusing! :)
Comment by NaYan Sat Aug 15 13:18:07 2015
Did you feed them to the chickens?
Comment by Kathleen Sat Aug 15 16:12:25 2015

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