You’ve got a beautiful garden in which you are growing a wide variety of plants and a few trees very well. But to your horror you discover one day caterpillars munching away on your cabbage, your lettuce, your tomatoes and everything else. All your hard work and effort is being munched away happily by these larvae. Your heart cries out, doesn’t it?
Caterpillars are larvae of butterflies and moths. In other words, caterpillars are the feeding stages of moths and butterflies. Yes, the stage itself is solely a feeding stage in the growth of these insects. They may be small but they eat too much. They eat and only keep eating. They eat the leaves, new buds and shoots and even flowers! There are many different kinds of caterpillars, each eating lots. You should know what kind of caterpillars you are dealing with before beginning your evacuation mission or it will simply be a waste.
There are a tremendous number of ways of tackling caterpillars. One of the most common and simple methods is to handpick them. Caterpillars are most active come early morning or evening – dusk time. When hand picking them, be sure you wear rubber gloves and carry an empty cup or tray with you. Your target should be the bottom side of the leaves. You’ll see egg clusters there. Remove them and also, look for caterpillars. You can pick them out too. These can be discarded in two ways. You could either release them somewhere far off from your garden or you can always kill them in soapy water.
It is always advisable to stay organic when it comes to dealing with pests in your garden. Pesticides can even damage your plants and trees and that is certainly not what you want. Hence, eco friendly remedies are the best. One of the best ways is crop rotation. Also, add lots of compost to your soil and make sure you don’t grow your plants in continuous rows. Releasing a predator into your garden is also a good and healthy idea. Frogs, wasps or lizards feed on caterpillars and protect your garden against them.
The best way to get rid of caterpillars and to control them is to spray the bacterial called Bacillus thuringiensis or BT in short. It is not only the most effective way to control caterpillars but also very eco friendly and does not damage your crops or the environment. BTK is the best type of bacterial for caterpillar control.
Other ways to get rid of caterpillars are neem oil which works wonders and acts instantaneously. Neem is extremely bitter and caterpillars will not dare touch plants that have neem oil sprayed on them. There is also another spray called Rotenone-Pyrethrin that is effective.
There are many ways in which you could get rid of caterpillars before they create havoc in your garden. Try one of the methods mentioned above and your garden will be caterpillar-free for sure.