If you are having problems with caterpillars then maybe you’re one of those who wish they would skip this stage and move on to pupate directly into butterflies. Unfortunately, not all caterpillars become beautiful butterflies. Some species of moths and worms also go thru the caterpillar stage.
As all caterpillars are known as voracious feeders during this stage, many of them are considered pests. Most moth species have this reputation because of the damage they cause to fruits, vegetables, flowers and other agricultural produce. Getting rid of caterpillars may seem synonymous to getting rid of all the leaves in the plants. They may be small but they sure seem to eat a lot, hundreds of times more than their size. Many caterpillar species have been subjected to pest control and still many have become resistant to pesticides. They are also difficult to get rid of organically.
Some of the ways on how to get rid of caterpillar from garden are as follows:
Perhaps the most environmentally friendly way to get rid of them is to resort to handpicking them off from the plants itself. But sometimes you tend to miss a few because they often take in the colors and textures of the plants they eat. This may result to inefficiency after some time.
• Pest meets Pest
Another way to get rid of some of them is to introduce predatory pests into your garden. These include birds, frogs, lizards and wasps. Caterpillars in their diet produce substantial source of protein. This can reduce the number of caterpillars dramatically. However, be careful because you just might be exchanging one pest for another.
• Play on Sprays
Non toxic organic sprays may also work like chili and garlic solution. This is done by mixing garlic cloves and chili in water. Then you can spray the mixture on affected plants so that you can minimize the onslaught of caterpillars to your poor crop.
• Crop Rotation
Rotating your crops is a good way to get rid of caterpillars which are restricted to eating one species of plant. However, this won’t work to polyphagous caterpillars because they have an insatiable appetite for food and feed on different types of plants.
• Keeping Healthy
A healthy and well taken cared of garden is perhaps the best way to combat the caterpillars. Like a healthy body beating a sickness, a healthy garden can withstand the attack of caterpillars. A good prevention is to destroy nests and eggs of such species so they will already lose the chance to pupate and propagate.
Know what kind of caterpillars you are trying to get rid of first to know what you are dealing against. Different species require different ways to get rid of them. Some are known to feed on specific crop; some are known to become active in certain months of the year. Some wants to chew on just leaves while others want to chew off young stems. Depending on what you have in your garden and the type of caterpillars you’re battling against, you may want to consider one or a combination of solutions above on how to get rid of caterpillar from garden. You may not be a 100% successful in your attempts in the beginning so be prepared for a truce and share a leaf or two every now and then until you get rid of most of them.