Caterpillar Invasion

We have thousands of caterpillars here again this year. We had quite a few last year on one of the willows at the bottom of the garden, but this year we have several collections of them on both willow and hawthorn. The build a little nest of silk and feed on these plants.

As a moth recorder then this is of course good news. As a gardener it is good too as I’m trying to create a wildlife friendly garden that looks nice. Lots of caterpillars means lots of moths and butterflies and lots of food for birds and such like too. I’m not so sure how useful it is that many of these caterpillars have taken up residence immediately above our new raised bed for vegetables though!

As far as I can tell they are caterpillars of the Lackey Moth (Malacosoma neustria) which fly during July and August, so I’m expecting lots of these in our moth trap later in the year.

6 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    Well, the caterpillars obviously did OK as we’ve been getting loads of Lackey Moths in the moth trap lately.

    47 of them the other night.


  2. Penny says:

    I have a lot of the caterpillars in my Peach tree I though they would harm ur tree I kill them should i leave them alone?

    • Anna says:

      Sounds a bit mean to kill them to me…. If everyone killed every caterpillar they saw there wouldn’t be any moths or butterflies which pollinate the plants and there would be no food for the birds. They may eat a few leaves on yor tree but the tree will survive and the wildlife will balance itself put.


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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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