Catalpa Tree – Caterpillars

Q: The ugly catalpa tree at our Nearly Native Nursery has always had the fish bait worms. We have several customers who have purchased trees from us but still no worms for them. How do they attract them?

A: Catalpa caterpillars (“worms”) come from eggs laid by the catalpa sphinx moth. Once they mature, the caterpillars pupate in the soil near the tree. You should sell a few of your caterpillars with each tree and instruct the buyer to let the worms feed and pupate, thereby “seeding” the tree with future fishbait.