How beautiful it is to have your garden filled with the harmless and gorgeous looking butterflies blooming all around your flowers and on lawns. The amazing part is that a small unsanitary and harmful insect (Caterpillars) grow up as beautiful butterflies. These larvae are popularly known for munching away on cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes and other plants. They may be small but eat too much due to their growing stage. Although these creepy crawlers are beneficial to the ecosystem but considering the harmful effect on plant at times prompt gardeners to be looking for how to kill caterpillars.
How to identify
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Caterpillars are larvae of butterflies and moths. Caterpillars are of thousands in specie but the common characteristic is they are long, hairy and wiggly. This pest has both real legs and fake legs which helps them cling to plants plus their soft body. Although not easy to locate as they’re usually underneath the leaves of your plant. Once you’re seeing your flower and plants devasted, just know these pesky pests are in your garden.
Preventions and Control Measures
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, ecofriendly remedies are the best.
#1 Hand Pick
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, 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.
#2 Crop Planning
Crop rotation is another prevention method to caterpillars. When you avoid planting crops of same family year after year, you are automatically discouraging insects from your gardening. Also, add lots of compost to your soil and make sure you don’t grow your plants in continuous rows, grow in mixed blocks.
#3 Homemade Spray
Chili Spray is one of the effective home remedies to get rid of caterpillars, a DIY approach and trusted repellant. Here’s a recipe for you to try:
- 3 ½ ounce grounded dried chili
- Pour the powder to ½ gallon boiling water.
- Boil the mixture for 5 minutes.
- Prepare ½ gallon cold water with 2-3 drops of liquid soap
- Add to boiled mixture to cold mixture
- Allow the mixture to cool.
Spray the solution on 1 or 2 leaves to test the effect of the solution. Observe for 24 hours, if there’s no negative reaction on plant then spray your chili mixture directly on caterpillars advisable at evening
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.