Sunday, 28 October 2007


Thanks to not realising it was daylight savings, and turning up to my yoga class just as it was finishing, I was a little more awake (and in a slightly worse mood) than usual when I got home and watered my plants this morning.

Perhaps that’s why I noticed that they had been attacked by evil caterpillars!!

Image thanks to flickr.

It was the mint that I first noticed. Mint is nothing if not hardy, so I was immediately suspicious when I saw that a few of it’s leaves looked a little moth eaten. Evil plans don’t just make themselves, you know.

Closer inspection revealed a couple of dark grey looking caterpillars. Ugh. After having lost a battle with caterpillars on my rocket earlier this year, I wasn’t relishing the though of having to repeat the experience.

Observation of my other plants revealed a similar invasion. My basil had been all but demolished by a number of the green suckers.

Despite the copious foliage, my tomato was also under similar attack by a mixture of green and brown suckers.

This particularly disturbed me, because the first of the plant’s fruit had just started to appear. I’m desperately hoping I get some to eat before I got to Vietnam!!

The only herbs that are (so far) immune to the caterpillar’s attack are the lettuce, chilli and parsley. Fingers crossed they stay that way!

1. Lettuce, 2. Chilli, 3. Flat-leaved parsley

Needless to say, I wasn’t going to take this lying down. When my rocket suffered a similar fate earlier this year, I lost the battle despite using slug and snail pellets, and a combination of soap, garlic and chilli (a method I devised, but must have read about it somewhere though surely?).

I was aware this wasn’t going to be easy, so I pulled out the big guns – Google – where I stumbled across this recipe for an organic bug spray. Deciding it looked suitably caterpillar-toxic, but person-friendly, I thought I’d give it a go. After all, should it survive, I do want to eat this stuff!!

Spraying it onto the plants certainly had some effect. At least 10 caterpillars dropped off and died. The tabasco also went right up my nose, and a few hours later my hands and lips are still tingling.

The question is, how many caterpillars remain?

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