First, how not to do it: Never try to pick up caterpillars with your fingers. They are very delicate, fragile, and easily damaged.
Sometimes you can convince a caterpillar to crawl onto a leaf, and then crawl off the leaf onto another plant. Sometimes. But caterpillars can be wayward creatures and have mindsof their own.
The most effective way to move caterpillars is with a paintbrush. Use a small (#2 or #3) round brush. You can lay the brush in front of the caterpillar (you’ll have to know which end is the front) and roll it gently, catching the caterpillar’s legs and rolling it onto the brush. Or, if its a small caterpillar, you can lay the brush along the caterpillar’s side, parallel to its body, and gently roll all the feet onto the brush at once. With bigger caterpillars, you might need to start the front end onto the brush and then wait while the caterpillar crawls on the rest of the way.
You may be frustrated the first few times you try this, but keep at it. You’ll get better with practice, and usually it works very well.
This isn’t my idea, by the way. I got it from a terrific book, ????.
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