I am not a gardener, but I play one at home! I don’t have a green thumb, but it doesn’t stop me from trying. Several years ago I successfully planted a small Thompson Seed Grapevine. After all these years it has taken over one side of our yard and spills over into our neighbor’s yard. We enjoy its beauty every spring and summer, however, we have never been able to enjoy its bounty of grapes due to our Golden Retriever, Goldi. What she couldn’t reach our family of squirrels quickly polished off.
After losing our Goldi last year, we figured that the competition for our grapes was down to the squirrels. Well, that wasn’t the case. We have another invader that is quietly lurking in our garden unnoticed, well until I encountered him while pulling weeds–one ugly little buger! My son researched him and there he was…a grape eating caterpillar!
What we encountered was a brown Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar in larvae form about 3 to 4 inches long. They are common to Colorado and are in the hornworm family. Please check out this Colorado State University website for some interesting facts about these caterpillars. These little guys are hungry and prefer munching on the grape leaves; however, they have been known to enjoy a few grapes as well. Other than noticeable holes in the leaves, they really don’t cause much damage to the plant. They are found from early summer to fall at which time they burrow themselves into the ground awaiting their metamorphous into a moth.
I guess I could just leave them alone, but I don’t want holes in my beautiful grape leaves, so I have a choice of either using a chemical insecticide or simply picking them off and dropping them into soapy water, which kills them. My son’s reply was, “what did they ever do to you?” The chemical insecticide is not an option for me, so I guess I will go bug hunting…well maybe my son will go bug hunting!