New "Easy Roll" Worm Bin!

Parsley Worms Appearing

parsleywormEven though the weather is still cool here in Northeast Florida, I found this parsley worm on my parsley today.  This is actually called the black swallowtail caterpillar and will transform into the black swallowtail butterfly – a large, attractive insect that will visit flowers and suck nectar. The Black Swallowtail caterpillar changes appearance each time it molts. In the last few stages of growth, it is white and green, with black bands and yellow or orange spots.

Because I don’t want to completely eliminate these (or use harmful chemicals), what I have done is to plant plenty of extra parsley and just hand pick a few of the caterpillars off and let the rest remain so that I can enjoy these butterflies in my garden.

If you want to attrack these insects, you can also plant dill, as it’s another one of their favorite feasts. Finally, here is a nice link with great pictures to help you identify a variety of these insects on your plants. Another cool thing to observe is to see them display their beautiful orange horns when threatened. I will try to post a pic of this when I can.

3 Responses to “Parsley Worms Appearing”

  • Me:

    I was just thrilled when I looked in my herb garden and saw the caterpillars on my parsley!! I have been raising Monarch butterflies, a friend of mine has been doing it for quit sometime. I had my husband build me an encloser….6ft tall and aprox. 5 ft wide. I had Milkweed everywhere as my friend told me plant them and they will come…none came LOL So she had been giving me the caterpillars and I would send her a health untouched milkweed now and then. Right now I have 27 chrysalis and 9 Monarch caterpillars in the encloser!! So when I went out to my herb garden and saw the Swallowtail I was astatic to say the least…went to the store and bought more parsely and put them in an enclosure and cant wait to watch the whole process, Isn’t nature amazing!! Thanks for your article. All the best to you! Me

  • Pamela:

    Hot July weather here in SW Florida, and I walk out this morning and find a mess of these creatures on my fennel. Picked them all off for both the fennel as well as for the kids to watch them change. Always a good at home project to get the kids involved with nature! Not enough fennel growing to just leave them, love the little critters too much to destroy them, especially since they change into something so beautiful and beneficial. You have to admit as well that as far as caterpillars go, they are on the cool side when even little boys think they are “neat!”

  • kitty ratledge:

    Am doing an IPM project on black swallowtails and am not finding enough info on their control.

    The project entails setting “thresholds, monitoring, and treatments – cultural, mechanical, biological,and/or chemical.

    Any info would be helpful on the ways to control the parsleyworm.

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