Caterpillars on licorice vine

Asked June 27, 2019, 1:19 PM EDT

Are these pests or future butterflies? I’ve read both. They are rampant in all my pots with helichrysum petiolare. Please advise how best to treat them. Some vines are stripped bare already and these buggers multiply!

Ottawa County Michigan

4 Responses

I agree. They're both. Those American lady caterpillars.


Just about any insecticide will kill them but you might try picking most of them off and letting a few survive to turn into butterflies.


...Those are American lady caterpillars.

How long until they mature and fly away? Will it perpetually go on if I leave them to develop?

The caterpillars look mature and close to pupating, so maybe a 3 weeks to a month before the butterflies will emerge from their chrysalises. There are multiple generations in Michigan, so yes, it is possible the caterpillars will appear again.