Once the tomato tasting and the farmer’s market was a distant memory, meaning later that afternoon I took a look at my “Bronze Leaf” fennel plants and noticed that they were nothing but stems. The culprit(s) were little caterpillars who eventually turn into the blue swallow-tail butterfly. At the time there was only one of these critters on the plant, but there must have been more that escaped my radar. These types of caterpillars attack dill, fennel and parsley. When you touch them these orange feelers pop out of their head. It must be their defense. That and a sour stink that they produce. It doesn’t wash off easily, so if you see these beings and you don’t want them to destroy your plant(s), I suggest wearing gloves to remove them and fling across the yard.
The culprit…atleast the one who I caught. These jerks stripped this plant clean.
This is me touching it to get it to show its defenses. Also, I should note that my glasses fell off my head here and landed near my feet. I decided to leave them there since I was going to take more pictures and they weren’t hurting anyone there on the ground. Make a mental note Amanda, I thought to myself, your glasses are right there. Don’t step on them. Check.
Here is this creature showing its orange defenses, before I flung it far, far away. CRACK! What! Oh NOOOOOOO! I just stepped on my glasses and broke them. Now I dislike that critter even more, and my fingers stink from touching it. So consider this a loss on all fronts. My fennel is toast, my glasses are toast AND my fingers stink. Serendipity.