The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Seabird

East Sussex, United Kingdom Gb

caterpillar - goody or baddy?
I have found a large silk cocoon at the top of a very tall shrub. Inside are caterpillars at various stages of growth. They look black with brown hairs and have 2 red spots behind their heads. Can I leave them where they are or are they nasties? I do want to prune the shrub but may have to wait a while now.



The caterpillars will have been put on a shrub that will provide them with food. Unless you want them using the shrub as an all you can eat buffet they need to go. Just prune that part off and put in your wheelie bin.

13 May, 2010


Thanks Mg. I had noticed the affected branches were looking a bit dead. It will get a prune tomorrow, definitely. It doesn't get attended to every year 'cos it's a real prickly one but it needs it now and I don't want to lose it so bye bye caterpillars. Not daft are they?

13 May, 2010


Nope they are not. Years ago we came across a tree that had been totally stripped of leaves - the caterpillars were abseiling down to disappear off and pupate.

13 May, 2010


What a shame. I hope they didn't remember where the good grub was and come back to lay more eggs. I take it the tree recovered?

13 May, 2010


No idea, we were out walking in Derbyshire 20+ years ago now.

13 May, 2010


Well, that's my lesson for today and one I won't forget! I couldn't believe how big the cocoons are, there are actually 2 of them filled with black dots which I think may be eggs and, of course, the caterpillars. I would have had a bald shrub for sure.
Thanks for your help, just wish I knew what they would have changed to but I'm not taking the risk, they have to go!

13 May, 2010


Exactly... I hate killing/destroying anything but, if the caterpillars are on a favourite shrub they have to go.

13 May, 2010

How do I say thanks?

Answer question

Related photos

  • strange visitor
  • Caterpiller of the Pale Tussock Moth.
  • Pic of Hickory Horned Devil for Bonkers and Toto
  • For Toto - monster caterpillar 2

Related blogs


Related questions

Not found an answer?