Caterpillars dying.

  • Creator
  • #14707

    Jean Stanley

    Several of my caterpillars have been falling off the branches and writhering on the ground as well as passing a green liquid. I have them in the conservatory but this morning I found a wasp inside,whitespotted inchneumonid. My food supply is such that I now how to feed them on branches that have golden aphids.

    How to I treat this problem now.


Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #33530


    Hello KimF

    Sorry that your post has been overlooked.

    There are various reasons what it could be – I suggest you click on “disease” to the right here and see what you can glean from that. Perhaps we can prepare a “checklist” of things to do, and things not to do, which would help people who are starting out. It’s a matter of reading up the background information – and not feeling too bad if one dies. Not every one makes it to adulthood.

    When you reply, please tell us where you are – there may well be someone who comes in here quite often that is close by to you and could show you what they do.



    Please can somebody help me.  I had my very first caterpillar, he was doing so well getting fat and then this morning he was lying on the ground, still alive but not moving.  He’s now dead and had green liquid coming out of him.  I do not use any pesticides on my plants and all my plants I grew myself from seed.  I also haven’t seen any insects around.  What could have caused this and is it going to affect my other smaller caterpillars which have hatched recently?


    Jean Stanley

    Thank you for that info. No sprays have been used in the conservatory but who knows what drift my plants may have had in the garden as I often smell spray in the air. I suppose I have to expect some losses even if I am unhappy about that.




    Caterpillars passing green fluid, which may be passed from either end, is a sign of stress, and indicates either ingestion of a toxin, or a viral/bacterial disease. With a viral/bacterial disease the infected caterpillars are normally lethargic, so I would suspect toxicity, given the description of writhing.
    The white spotted ichneumon wasp lays its egg (one) into the chrysalis rather than the caterpillars, so that one is ruled out.
    Spray drift in the form of fly spray, automatic insecticide/deodorant/asthmatic relief dispensers, or a number of other household products can be a source of contamination on the plant leaves.
    Viral/bacterial diseases are usually the result of overcrowding and lack of air circulation.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.