Swallowtail Caterpillar – On Parsley

Q: I found a bunch of these happily munching on and devouring my parsley. Any idea what they are?

A: They are the caterpillars of swallowtail butterflies. They are sometimes called parsley worms. The butterflies laid their eggs on your plant back in July. They were too tiny to notice at first but now they have grown large enough to do some damage to your leaves.

Unless you desperately depend on the size of your parsley crop, I recommend you let the caterpillars do their thing. You can plant fresh parsley plants this fall and the caterpillars will be long gone by then.

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