Bug of the Week: Budworm

Isn't it interesting how plants and insects go together? We have the queen butterflies (from last week) in our yard because we have desert milkweed plants. This year we planted a birdhouse gourd,

and this year we have...

budworms. Budworms are the caterpillar of a moth. They specialize in eating flower buds, although they will also nibble leaves. This one is feeding upside down, with its head in the bud.

Here I opened the bud.Can you see the tiny brown dots in a row along its sides? Those are the openings called spiracles. Insects get their oxygen through those openings.

Budworms come in a variety of colors, including bright pink. The moths are drab with a faint olive green cast.

I wonder what we should plant next.

Do you have plants that attract a particular insect in your yard?

2 thoughts on “Bug of the Week: Budworm

  1. Judith Siverson

    First they infested the Jasmine; now they're on Snow on the Mountain; what else do I need to worry about (hibiscus, bougainvillea, cherry bushes, palms)?

  2. Post author

    Judith,
    From your description, I'm wondering if you live outside of the continental U.S.? There are three common caterpillar pests of jasmine, but only one is likely to eat more that just jasmine. If you haven't already done so, I would suggest you take it to a local expert for identification. If you are in the U.S., your county Cooperative Extension service is likely to be able to assist you. Otherwise, I'll need a bit more information to be able to answer your question.

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