caterpillar eyes

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
caterpillar, brunching

NOTE: this post is from a few weeks ago, and I never posted it for whatever reason. (caterpillar insanity?)

There are caterpillars eating my petunias and this simple fact fills me with rage. CATERPILLAR RAGE! I know that caterpillars gotta eat, etc. but it just makes me so mad. Why can't they eat something else?! Weeds, for example?  They eat  right through the middle of buds that have yet to open and keep on eating until everything has holes in it or is dead. I hate them. The only practical way to deal with the problem is to pluck them off one by one (destroying them with fire would only compound my problems).

Even the big ones are tough to spot, but the little ones are nearly impossible. They're tricky and blend in with the plant, but I've discovered the secret: you have to look long enough until you get your caterpillar eyes. It's similar to night vision; you can't just walk into the dark from a brightly lit room and expect to see - so it is with the budworm caterpillar. You have to adapt, and then pluck those bastards off one by one as they come into your field of vision. What you do with them after that is up to you. I put them in the yard debris bin and figure they can eat to their hearts content along with any slugs I find.

UPDATE: shortly after I wrote this, the caterpillars were no longer the main problem. That would be the scourge of powdery mildew. It's really hard to focus fury on a mildew - I can't just pluck it away and consign it to the bin so I'm reduced to heavy sighs, muttering, and the knowledge that soon it will be winter and I'll be longing for a nice warm day and my caterpillar eyes.
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