I'm not sure if this is the right place as it isn't really a normal pet.

We found a caterpillar a few days a go, and decided to keep it until it turns in to a butterfly.

We made him a habitat in a clean sweet container, lined with kitchen roll, and sour holes punched in the lid.

He seemed happy for the first two days eating the strawberry we found him on, and an assortment of other leafs from our garden.

Last night he didn't move much, and after returning from work today he doesn't seem to have eaten anything.

Is this normal or are we doing something wrong?

  • how much do you handle them? Also do you use pesticides or any product in your garden?
    – Ian
    Aug 24 '16 at 14:55
  • He seems to be active and eating again today. We never handle him, I assumed we could make him ill that way. We feed him only from our garden which uses no pesticides.
    – Terry
    Aug 24 '16 at 15:10
  • Ah that is good :) I am glad he is back at it
    – Ian
    Aug 24 '16 at 15:13
  • I'm glad too, thanks. I didn't think you could become attached to a caterpillar, but my oh seems to have.
    – Terry
    Aug 24 '16 at 15:14

When a caterpillar stops eating it could mean it is either sick or pupating. You should not handle them at this time and should remove any dead ones asap. Sadly, it could mean the caterpillar will die but i would just keep on waiting and seeing if it returns to normal.

Sources of sickness can be from many things. It could be pesticide or other product on the plants, it could be a parasite, or it could even be a product you used on your hands when you handled it (some lotions or sunscreen or something).

I would guess he stopped eating prepping for molt, pupation, or just because. I wouldnt worry too much unless it happens for a few days


I think the reason that your caterpillar might not be eating is either because it is preparing for its molt or shed as some may say, or maybe because it has been in contact with harmful substances.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.