While checking out the garden today, I found this cute little guy on one of my fennel plants.

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“How pretty” you might be saying.  Well, yes, you’re right.  Kudos to God once again for creating something so beautiful and interesting.

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However, upon closer inspection, I found EIGHT of these cute little guys on my fennel plants,  and I promptly flung them all out of my garden. (Yes, there was some squealing involved as I dropped one on my foot and another one almost touched my hand).

After taking pictures, I came in and looked them up.  It turns out they’re Eastern Black Swallowtails, and will grow to look like this.

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Wow!  How awesome! That was in the first part of what I read.  Next I read that the female apparently laid a bunch of eggs on my fennel, it’s host plant.  The eggs developed into the adorable little caterpillers that I found.

Then I read the next line, which explains that the caterpillers will EAT their host plant.  I DON’T THINK SO.  As much as I love butterflies, I’m not willing to sacrifice my fennel crop.  I will continue to monitor my fennel  (and apparently they love dill, parsley and carrots too!) and attempt to relocate these little bastards.  (Notice how “these cute little guys” turned into “little bastards” when I learned that they’re going to try and eat my garden!).

Apparently, I’m going to have to capture them all in a container and drive them across the state border, as this one is already trying to make his way back to my garden.  Grrr.

STAY OUTTA MY FENNEL!

Written by Jennifer Cartledge

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