Before they become beautiful butterflies, they are hungry caterpillars. They come in many sizes and in a wide variety of colors but what they have in common are sharp mandibles for chewing leaves.
And they eat them voraciously! Caterpillars feed on the green leaves of various Florida trees and shrubs. Some species are limited to a specific type of plant. Some can even inflict a nasty sting if touched, so be careful! But one thing is for sure; caterpillars can do serious damage to your garden. The funny thing is most caterpillars in Florida are spotted when they’re already full grown, usually mid to late summer and early autumn, and by then they’re done feeding and really won’t cause any harm. However, because there are so many different types of caterpillars and because a few can be a bit dangerous, if you notice damaged or eaten leaves in your landscape, call an expert trained to properly ID the problem and deliver the right solution.