The effect of volatiles related to feeding activity of nonprey caterpillars, Spodoptera exigua, on the olfactory response of the predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis was examined in a Y-tube olfactometer. At a low caterpillar density (20 caterpillars on 10 Lima bean leaves), the predators were significantly more attracted to volatiles from infested leaves on which the caterpillars and their products were present or from infested leaves from which the caterpillars and their products had been removed when compared to volatiles from uninfested leaves. The predators, however, significantly avoided odors from 20 caterpillars and their products (mainly feces) removed from bean leaves. In contrast, at a higher caterpillar density (100 caterpillars on 10 Lima bean leaves), the predators avoided volatiles from caterpillar-infested bean leaves. Volatiles from infested leaves from which the caterpillars and their products had been removed were not preferred over volatiles from uninfested leaves. Volatiles from feces collected from 100 caterpillars were strongly avoided by the predators, while the behavior of the predatory mites was not affected by volatiles from 100 caterpillars removed from a plant. The data show that carnivorous arthropods may avoid nonprofitable herbivores. This avoidance seems to result from an interference of volatiles from herbivore products with the attraction to herbivore- induced plant volatiles.