How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Painted lady butterfly larva—Vanessa cardui

Painted lady butterfly larvae can affect vegetable crops throughout California. Larvae are brown or black spiny caterpillars. On each side is a pale yellow stripe.

Damage

Larvae feed primarily on thistle, but do not cause major damage.

Solutions

Control is seldom needed. Insecticide applications of Bacillus thuringiensis or spinosad will control butterfly larvae.

Painted lady adult butterfly
Painted lady adult butterfly

Painted lady adult larva
Painted lady adult larva


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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