If you ever thought that a caterpillar is not a threat to your garden, you were wrong. Caterpillars may look cute, but they can destroy an entire plant in search of energy. A single larva can grow exponentially in a week and feed on your garden plants. If you don’t check on them daily, you may not notice the damage to your tomatoes, cabbages and many other plants until it’s too late. So what can you do to get rid of these pests before they eat your entire plant without using pesticides or chemicals? Learn more about how to control green caterpillars below.
Table of Contents
- Control small green caterpillars: remove them by hand.
- Pests in the garden – get rid of caterpillars naturally.
- What to do about green caterpillars on plants?
- Get rid of green caterpillars: spray a soap and water mixture on the plant
- Get rid of pests in the garden with home remedies: neem oil
- Vinegar against pests
- Attract birds to your garden
- Keep green caterpillars away
Control small green caterpillars: remove them by hand
Once you’ve found the caterpillars that have been harming your plants, take the opportunity to make sure they don’t come back. Simply tossing the larva as far as your arm will allow may seem less cruel, but that won’t stop these voracious eaters from coming back tomorrow to do it all over again. The easiest way to destroy these pests , is to simply squash them . However, you can also take a bucket or bowl of soapy water into the garden and throw in all the caterpillars you can catch.
While you’re at it, be sure to tear off and discard any curled leaves from your plants, as these leaves often hide larvae.
Pests in the garden – get rid of caterpillars naturally.
In intensive intercropping, plant a selection of herbs and spices alongside your usual crops or plants. The herbs help mask the smell of nearby plants that normally attract caterpillars. Some of the most commonly used herbs in high-intensity intercropping include:
Aside from giving off a strong scent that deters caterpillars, you can also harvest full-grown herbs for your personal use throughout the growing season.
What to do about green caterpillars on plants?
A pepper mixture can deter caterpillars from eating plants. To do this, first mix one tablespoon of dried red bell pepper flakes, one whole chopped onion and one teaspoon of liquid soap with 4 gallons of water. After thoroughly mixing the mixture, let it sit for at least 24 hours. Then, pour some of the solution into a spray bottle and use it to spray the affected plants.
Not only will this mixture keep the grubs from climbing up the plant, but the strong taste will keep them from biting off more of it.
Eliminate green grubs: spray a soap and water mixture on the plant.
All you need is an organic liquid soap, water and a spray bottle. Dissolve a small amount of soap in the water in the bottle by shaking the mixture, then spray the affected plants. Be sure to spray the top of the leaves as well as the underside. Carefully unwrap folded or rolled leaves and spray those areas as well. The surface of your plants will become slippery, preventing the green caterpillars from walking on it and eating your plants. Don’t worry, it won’t harm them, it will just force them to look elsewhere for food.
Fighting pests in the garden with home remedies: neem oil.
A homemade spray with neem oil is a simple way to chase away caterpillars. However, you should know that this concoction also kills bees. Therefore, use it only at dusk, when the bees have returned to their homes for the day. Mix 60 ml of neem oil with 4 l of water at room temperature. If you spray this mixture on the places in your garden where you have seen maggots, they will be killed by suffocation. Test the neem oil spray on a small area to make sure your plants don’t react negatively before spraying it all over your garden.
Vinegar for pests
Vinegar works naturally against many pests, including green caterpillars. All you need is a mixture of 4 liters of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Spray it on the infested plants and it will keep the larvae away.
Attract birds to your garden
Another option is to bring a natural predator into play. Since birds eat caterpillars, you can set up a bird feeder or birdhouse near the infested plants so the birds will naturally reduce the caterpillar population .
You can also establish chickens in your garden. They will wander around and eat all the grubs for you.
Keep green caterpillars away
There are many ways to keep caterpillars from invading your garden. Hedges around the outer perimeter of your garden will reduce the likelihood of moths and butterflies laying caterpillar eggs being blown into your garden. Other options include fences, garden walls or trellises.
Only you know for sure which of these methods will work best in your garden. Try some of these methods and see which one you like best to keep grubs at bay .