Love / Hate Relationship

I am having a love/hate relationship with nature right now. In particular with butterflies and moths.

On one hand I love them.

Every single day we have Ulysses butterflies in our yard with their brilliant blue wings.


We’ve planted trees to encourage them into our yard.


They have courtship rituals outside my back door.


They lay their eggs up high and their fat green caterpillars eat their fill of leaves.


I love thinking that I am responsible for the next generation of Ulysses butterflies.


I do not like the moths that lay their eggs in my soil nor their larvae, which are called cutworms, that nibble at the stalks of my tiny vegetable seedlings.


So far the beans have been chomped – we’ve lost all of those – and now they started on the capsicum plants.

I’d like to be the downfall of the next generation of these!

Any ideas or solutions?


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40 responses to “Love / Hate Relationship

  1. No ideas, but would love to hear a solution if you have one! Here it’s mostly slugs and snails that eat everything in sight.

  2. I can’t grow anything. I shouldn’t be responsible for our flower beds but my dh won’t take care of flowers. The flowers have no choice but to try to thrive under my care.

    Good luck with your insects (which are very different from ours!)

  3. Train the lovely butterflies to eat the evil moth larvae!!!

  4. How did you get so close with your camera? Those are cool photos!

  5. There’s something tickling at the edge of my hungover brain. Was it cutting toilet paper tubes in half, then using them as collars around the seedlings? I think the tubes have to be shoved down in the ground a little. Could also cut off the bottoms of the horrible little plastic pots that tend to accumulate and use them.

    But don’t take my word for it. I have a hangover.

  6. I like Warty Mammal’s comments…little collars around your plants…will you be painting them wild colors? Good luck with that.

  7. How frustrating! No solutions though… sorry!

  8. Cabbage collars? Will stop them laying eggs in the soil around the stem…

    They are just cirlces of cardboard with a slit so that you can position them around the stem.


  9. There you go – toilet paper tubes – who’d have thought?

  10. I’m using toilet paper holders as little pot plants for my seedlings. When they get bigger then I’ll put them in the ground. I have my doubts about them keeping snails away… I think a hungry snail would get over a bit of cardboard quite easily.

  11. Oh I’m of NO use here. We are trying to be organic with our garden… no spraying of chemicals, but it is sooooooo difficult! The weeds are out of control and I’ve noticed an infestation of lady bugs… but not any damage to the plants… yet.

    Gorgeous butterflies.

    Wasn’t there a movie about an evil moth? One of those bad 1950’s sci-fi films?

  12. Great shot of the Ulysses, we have them in our yard too. Cant help you with the other ones though…we have ants more than moths!

    How cold is it down there at the moment?We will be down next week.

  13. Bummer! They are so pretty though!

  14. I can whole-heartedly admire your lovely photos but sadly I have no idea about gardening.

  15. Fabulous photos – it would take my breath away to have butterflies so beautiful in my garden.
    But a bugger about the stem-nibblers. Tried the Gardening Australia website?

  16. Peta (aka the Apostrophe Bandit)

    They sell beans at the shop…

  17. But! bugger bought beans, if you can grow your own!! Think succulent green freshness! Think pleasure picking!
    The dunny rolls sound good, they must be good for more than kids projects & being used as trumpets for false farts, behind chairs?

  18. Those blue butterflies are just gorgeous to watch, too. I know how you feel though. We are having a grasshopper plague as well, I found all my basil and mint chomped to the stalk. Grr!

  19. M

    No solutions. I’m still looking agast at your Ulysses butterfly! Man, the tropics are so cool. Except for the moths of course.

    Do you have a cat? Our cats like to chase/eat moths.

  20. M

    Oh and the grasshopers are a pain. We have a slug problem and we put out beer in a container. They go for the yeast and drown in the beer. PL loves our slug/beer solution.

  21. Don’t know about moths they just fly vaguely about here and I have no idea where their larvae are. Our garden pests are slugs and snails, which chew things and are a real pain. But I liked your pictures. Those blue butterflies are amazing.

  22. Hi, Tracey,
    I haven’t been blogging or reading much for quite a while, but I just saw this one and want to share what the president of our local organic gardening club does: wrap a small folded piece of newspaper around the stem of the seedling before transplanting into the garden. I’ve not tried it, but I’ve heard her lecture two years running on seed-starting, and both years she has given the same advice. Good luck!

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