These days when it comes to gardening there is so much talk about pollinators. I've really tried to do my part and when I've found gaps that need filling, I've especially chosen plants for pollinators. I LOVE seeing all the bees in the garden as it makes me feel I'm doing something right! So I recently spotted all sorts of caterpillars in the back garden and my first thought was "Yay, butterflies!!"
I had planted some Stocks in the pots on the back patio thinking the scent would be lovely sitting out back and found them covered in these things. I lost count at around 20ish little caterpillars all over the flowers and foliage. They were chomping my flowers to death and a few of the plants had become just stalks.
Nevertheless, I thought I'm doing good for the environment and I left them. Out of curiosity though I posted a photo in my Candide gardening app to have someone in the community identify these things. First response was small tortoiseshell (great!), second response cabbage white (not so great). I really hoped that they were the small tortoiseshell, but about a week or so later (with even fewer plants) I started seeing the cabbage whites flying everywhere. That's when I decided they'd had they're day! At that point there were even more babies around and they'd eaten half the plants!
So I'm very sorry to say but they have now gone to caterpillar garden bin heaven. Fingers crossed I may now get a few flowers back before the summer is over.