Monday, September 12, 2011
There go our dwarf oleanders
The oleander caterpillar, a bright orange caterpillar with tufts of long black hairs, is a common sight on oleanders in Florida, especially on my dwarf oleanders. In southern regions of Florida the oleander caterpillar can cause considerable defoliation.
Birds are often great predators of caterpillar pests in the landscape. However, because of the poisonous diet of the oleander caterpillar, birds and small mammals do not feed on this abundant resource. It is a “stinging” or irritating caterpillar do not touch without gloves. I glove picked the photo caterpillars.
“The Roman historian, Pliny the Elder was convinced that leading a bare-breasted virgin around a hedge 3 times would force caterpillars to fall to the ground”. (Really http://www.stephentvedten.com/22_Caterpillars.pdf ).