26 Jun 2017

Bye-bye Charlie

Postscript Charlie :
Overnight Charlie flew away to freedom in a new avatar

Bye Charlie! The curry leaves will be around, visit again!

The Infestation

I am training a few Devil’s Ivy aka Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum) onto the balcony grille.

For a few days I had noticed small balls of what I thought were caterpillar droppings under the climbing vines but had not been able to locate any pests. I must admit I was casual in my search, as I had never heard of, nor seen Money Plants attacked by caterpillars. Mealy bugs, yes, but caterpillars, never. 

The other evening, I found some more globular caterpillar droppings, this time around a couple of hibiscus pots next to the vines. This triggered a frenetic flashlight search which uncovered unwelcome guests

To my dismay I realized, overnight the ivy vines had been devastated

And, six Hibiscus plants in adjacent pots were also all teeming with the black, hairy munchers, happily chomping away on the leaves

In all, I removed some 25 of these plump, hairy fellows of two different varieties and dropped them off onto the common area garden in the campus.

My only regret was that I could not afford to have them devour my balcony plants to appreciate their subsequent transformation into adulthood

Postscript :
I removed a further 10-odd caterpillars over subsequent nights. 
The Money Plants are gradually recovering from the onslaught, but one Hibiscus appears to have succumbed to the infestation. 
It’s now wait and watch…