Small White – Big Trouble!

006On Sunday, in the early morning sunshine, I noticed this Small White butterfly just emerging from it’s pupa and pumping blood into it’s wings to expand them. Shortly, it will be off around the garden laying eggs from which will emerge hundreds of tiny green and black hairy caterpillars which will then eat their way through my precious plants like they did last year!

Hesparis matronalis (Sweet Rocket) seedlings munched by Small White butterfly caterpillars in August 2012

Hesparis matronalis (Sweet Rocket) seedlings munched by Small White butterfly caterpillars in August 2012

It’s a dilemma I have every year. I love wildlife and try to garden organically by encouraging natural predators rather than using chemicals but it seems these caterpillars arrive too late for the birds to forage for their young. Either that or they don’t taste good!

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