How To Get Rid Of Caterpillars

You experience issues with caterpillars and moths in your garden and want to know what to do about it? Great!

This article is exactly for you since I will show you how to get rid of caterpillars through simple but yet effective measures.

Caterpillar Overview

Short descriptionCaterpillars are the larval stage of moths and butterflies. While butterflies are not harmful to most garden plants, caterpillars can have serious adverse effects on the growth behavior of your plants.
Scientific nameLepidoptera.
Lifespan6 to 12 months, even though caterpillars have often turned into moths or butterflies at this point.
What plants do they like?Caterpillars feed on many different garden flowers, vegetables and fruits.
SymptomsYou can often see caterpillars with your naked eye. Moreover, you will often see that plant leaves will have some small bites in their structure.
Potential damageIf caterpillar populations become too big, they can seriously hurt your plants since they can eat substantial amounts of plant material in the long run.
Control optionsChemical, biological and cultural.
Treatment difficultyIntermediate.
Natural predatorsBirds, ladybugs, lacewings.

How to get rid of Loopers & Caterpillars

1. Separate infested from healthy plants

The first step should be to separate plants that are contaminated with caterpillars from healthy ones that don’t suffer from any sort of infestation yet.

By doing so, you can prevent caterpillars to swap plants and to damage even more of your little treasures.

2. You can remove caterpillars by hand

If the number of caterpillars in your garden is relatively small, you can just hand-pick them and remove them from your plants.

However, if caterpillar populations have become too big, you may no longer succeed with this method and you should rather rely on other measures instead.

If you want to try this method, also make sure that you wear gloves to protect your skin since many caterpillars can irritate your skin and some of them are even toxic.

3. Search for the source problem

You can also go one step further and just remove the caterpillar nest from your garden to get rid of caterpillars in the long run.

However, those nests are often not easy to find and you have to invest a little bit of time and play detective ;).

Sooner or later, you will likely find those nests and by removing them, you will have peace of mind that you really tackle the problem.

4. Use flour to get rid of caterpillars

You can also just use some flour and spread it over loopers.

While this method may work since it takes away water from the bodies of caterpillars, it may not be the most animal-friendly way to get rid of those pests and you may rather want to go for a more ethical approach.

5. Garlic as a secret measure against loopers

Caterpillars also don’t like the smell of garlic at all. Hence, to get rid of them, you can just grow some garlic plants in your garden or use garlic from the store.

You can just put garlic into a water bucket for a few days and spray this solution onto the leaves of your plants.

After a few days, you should see serious improvements and most caterpillars should be gone.

6. Stinging nettle liquid may help to deter caterpillars as well

Similar to the garlic liquid, you can also just put some stinging nettles into cold water and wait a few days.

After this period of time, just remove the plant material and you will have a nice natural pesticide that will deter caterpillars and other pests and will serve as natural fertilizer at the same time.

7. Neem oil deters caterpillars and many other pests.

To deter caterpillars from your garden or from your balcony, you may also want to try neem oil.

Neem oil is a completely natural measure to get rid of caterpillars and it has the advantage that it also deters many other harmful insects and pests.

8. Insecticidal soap can help as well

You may also want to try insecticidal soap to get rid of caterpillars.

While this may work, it is less eco-friendly compared to neem oil and other natural solutions mentioned in this article and you should therefore try those other measures before trying this soap to get rid of caterpillars and other pests.

9. Getting rid of caterpillars with chemical pesticides

The most radical approach to getting rid of caterpillars is to just use chemical pesticides for it.

Yet, those chemical pesticides are not good for our planet at all and may also adversely alter the quality of the soil in your garden.

Hence, make sure to try everything else before relying on those chemical measures instead.

10. Care for your plants

As a preventive measure to keep away caterpillars, it is also important that you care for your plants in a proper manner.

Hence, make sure to remove weeds and other garbage out of your garden so that your plants can grow in a proper manner and an infestation with caterpillars becomes less likely.

11. Fertilize your plants to make them more resistant to caterpillars

It is also crucial that you fertilize your plants properly so that they become big and strong and will be less vulnerable to caterpillars and other pests.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to rely on chemical fertilizers.

There are many natural alternatives out there as well and you should try them instead of chemical substances that hurt our environment.

12. Water your plants

Last but not least, also make sure to water your plants on a regular basis.

Only then will they become strong enough to deter caterpillars in a natural manner and the stronger your plants are, the fewer the work you have to put into additional measures to deter caterpillars and other garden pests.

What’s left to say?

Now that you know how to get rid of caterpillars, you may want to get additional information related to gardening and therefore also want to check out my grower’s guides and the best companion plants you can grow in your garden as well.

About the Author

My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.

In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.

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