Most gardeners look forward to the warm spring months. However, it’s also a time of year when caterpillars begin their reign of destruction, eating away any plants in their path.
It’s a depressing sight to see your garden infested with plant-eating caterpillars, but the good news is that there are solutions to this common problem.
It’s important to note that not all caterpillars are destructive to your garden. Depending on what plants you are growing and the type of caterpillar, it may not want to eat anything in your garden.
Allowing them to remain in your garden will result in beautiful butterflies down the road, some of which could prove to be beneficial.
You see, butterflies are known to eat things like rotting organic plant matter, pollen, sap and dung. Instead of having these unwanted items polluting your garden, a few butterflies can help clean it up.
Pick and Move Them
One of the most effective methods for ridding a garden of caterpillars is to pick each individual one and move them by hand.
As long as your garden isn’t infested with 100+ caterpillars, this shouldn’t be overly difficult or time-consuming. You will, however, need to move them far enough away from your garden so they don’t come back.
Just placing the caterpillars 20-30 feet over into the edge of some trees simply isn’t going to keep them out. The following day you will likely notice your garden once again infested with the very same caterpillars.
I recommend going around with jar and collecting as many caterpillars from your garden as you can. Be sure to wear gloves to avoid catching any nasty germs they are carrying.
Once you’ve rounded up as many caterpillars as you can find, place a cap over the jar and poke some holes in it. Now, drive these little critters to a nice far-away wooded area where they can go about their lives without destroying your garden.
This is by far the best solution for removing caterpillars, as it doesn’t involve harmful pesticides or chemicals that could poison your garden.
Block Them Out
Another solution for dealing with caterpillars in the garden is to simply block them out.
If your garden is small enough, you can create a barrier using mosquito netting around your garden. Not only will this help to prevent caterpillars, but it’s also useful for keeping out a wide variety of other pesky insects. The only downside to this method is the amount of work it takes, especially for larger gardens.
If you decide to construct a barrier or netting around your garden, you’ll need to secure all the way down into the ground so the caterpillars won’t be able to crawl underneath it. Keep this in mind and make sure the barrier is flush to the ground.
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If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or
paige smith says
These are all great tips to help with caterpillar infestations. With caterpillar infestations I like how you point out that the easiest solution is to just pick them out. I bet my three year old would love it. We will keep them in a glass jar and wait for them to turn in to beautiful butterflies.