How To Control Caterpillar Infestation on Your Trees And Plants?

How To Control Caterpillar Infestation on Your Trees And Plants?

Are you looking for some ways to get rid of caterpillars on your trees and plants? If yes, then you have reached the right place. As in this post, we will tell you some ways to keep these larvae away from trees and gardens.

Almost every individual hates caterpillars not because they are insects but because they invade the garden every year by eating the leaves of various plants and trees. On the other hand, few people think about how caterpillars can cause damage in a garden as they are cute and fuzzy and will turn into beautiful butterflies and moths in a few days.

But they don't know when they are hungry; they eat leaves and can quickly destroy many trees, plants and crops. So, this is just an introduction to caterpillars. To know more, let's talk about caterpillars.

What Are Caterpillars?

Caterpillars are indeed larvae of butterflies and moths, and if you talk about the caterpillar's species, there are more than 20,000 living in different parts of the world. Some of the caterpillar species are agricultural pests that only feed on crops, and others are rare and a real threat to a wide range of garden plants and trees.

They are also called webworms and typically make their appearance in the spring, fall, and also in summer seasons. However, if there is a lot of rain, you can also see them on various plants and trees. So, let's talk about some of the common caterpillars you can see having a food fest in your garden: -

1.    Cutworms

These ruthless creatures will eat the new baby seedlings right from the base. However, they enter your garden in different colours and hide in daylight. Some of these cutworms feast on trees as well. They mainly curl around the stem of a plant and cut them just above the soil's surface.


2.     Armyworms

They are green or dark coloured, having a yellow stripe and mainly like grasses.


3.   Cabbage Loopers

These caterpillars are pale green in the shade with stripes on their back. They like to eat garden greens, like lettuce, kale, and chard. Cabbage loopers are long an inch and a half and will turn into moths with wings and silver spots.


4.   Hornworms

The favourite food of hornworms is tomato plants, but they feed on potatoes, eggplant, and pepper plants. They are large, green in the shade, and sport a horn at the end of their bodies. However, you can easily see them and pluck them from your plants as they can damage the whole vegetable plant within a short time.


How To Get Rid of Caterpillars on Trees and Plants?

Caterpillars are quite challenging to prevent as they can easily travel a long distance to lay eggs. But with the help of a few effective control solutions, you can quickly reduce their numbers. So, let's talk about these techniques: -

1.    Soap and Water

This is one inexpensive remedy to stop these caterpillars from eating your plants. For this, you have to dissolve a small amount of organic liquid in warm water and then pour this solution into a spray bottle.

Next, spray this mixture on vegetables, roses, or other plants caterpillars are feeding. However, this remedy does not kill caterpillars. Instead, the soapy water makes the leaves slippery and discourages them from walking or eating the plants.


2.   Neem Oil

Neem oil is another natural insecticide that will not harm humans and plants. So, buy a cold-pressed neem oil as it is widely used to control many garden pests, spider mites, caterpillars, Japanese beetles, etc.

Take 1 gallon of water, two tablespoons of natural neem oil, and one teaspoon of organic liquid dish soap. The main ingredient is neem oil in this recipe, and the liquid soap will act as the emulsifier. When you spray this mixture on plants and trees, you will see the result almost instantly, as caterpillars will die soon.

However, if your garden has a large number of caterpillars, repeat this process after 7 to 14 days.


3.   Caterpillar Repellent Plants

The best way to control caterpillars infestation is growing natural repellents of insects and other pests nearby. Some of the plants that repel caterpillars are: -







This approach is best to protect young trees, but they are more effective on small plant ground crops.


4.   Pepper And Garlic Mixture

This potent mixture will kill the caterpillars within a few days. The reason is it works well as a natural repellent for various plant-eating insects. To make this mixture, you have to take one tablespoon of dried red pepper flakes, one teaspoon of liquid soap, one whole bulb of minced garlic, and an entire gallon of water.

Blend this mixture thoroughly and let it stand for at least 24 hours. After that, spray it wherever necessary to keep these hungry friends off the plants.


5.   Bacillus Thuringiensis or BTK

This is the naturally occurring bacteria that is mainly found in soil. However, it contains a highly toxic protein to certain pests like caterpillars and mosquito larvae. The reason is that it breaks down its gut because they die of infection and starvation.


The best part of this BTK is it is non-toxic to human animals and is one of the best garden insects.


6.   Pick Them Up

I know many of us did not want to hear this, but it is true. That means if you want to get rid of caterpillars, then one of the efficient ways is to pick them up in their early stage but in a nature-friendly manner.


However, don't act fast; otherwise, they spread to the whole tree or plant. That means pruning the small tips of the affected branches and taking the caterpillar along with their webs.


Make sure to gather them in a bucket and release them far away from your property but don’t forget to wear gloves while collecting them. Moreover, if your garden has many caterpillars, picking them up will not be the best solution.


7.   Slippery Duct Tape

This is an ingenious the best way to control caterpillars from your garden. That means to cover the tree trunk or plant with one or two duct tape wraps. This method won't kill any caterpillars. Instead, when they move from one place to another, feed on leaves, they will slip down and will not be able to reach the foliage.

You can use any duct tape with a slippery surface for this work. But make sure it must have strong glue so that it will resist different climatic conditions.


8.  Vinegar Solution

Vinegar can be used and is widely used as an excellent insecticide and natural pesticide to deter various insects. To make the solution out of the vinegar, mix two tablespoons with around 4 litres of water. Store this mixture in a bottle and spray them on those fat green worms visible eating the leaves.


The Bottom Line

Getting rid of caterpillars is quite a challenging job. These caterpillars also make their shelters high on trees and produce networks of webs protected from various climatic conditions and natural predators.

So, the above are some of the best ways to control caterpillars to protect your garden from them. I hope you like this post on how to control caterpillar infestation!

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