I have to say caterpillars are one of the most repellent, repulsive larval insects that I have encountered, other than the ghastly thorn bugs or treehoppers. Simply looking at a hairy caterpillar munching away contentedly at your plants that you have nurtured for so long can make your blood boil. Caterpillars are voracious eaters as most of the caterpillar’s body is filled with intestines which are focused on digesting their food as quickly as possible. However, there are a few ways to get rid of these creepy insects.
- If you aren’t squeamish around caterpillars, you could grab your trusty pail, don a pair of rubber gloves and handpick those nasty caterpillars off your plants. Fill your pail with soapy water to kill the caterpillars. Always wear gloves while handpicking caterpillars as their stings can cause swelling and the hairs can result in skin irritation.
- To get rid of caterpillars, you could spray some neem oil onto your plants as it is a repellent to many insects and reduces their feeding. Neem oil also interferes with the hormonal systems of the insects, making it harder for them to reproduce.
- You could buy and install a birdbath in the middle of your lawn. The birds attracted to it will scour your garden and snap up tasty morsels of caterpillar. This will definitely help in reducing the number of caterpillars in your garden.
- Lay sticky traps around your plants. Any caterpillars that crawl onto the trap will get stuck and will wiggle uselessly in futile attempts to escape. Simply dump the traps into garbage bags and throw them away.
- Cover plants with a fine mesh fabric. This will not only prevent caterpillars from eating your plants but also hinder butterflies and moths from laying their eggs.
- Chili spray. This fiery spray will deter caterpillars. You could also use garlic sprays or a combination of both chili and garlic for maximum impact. Here are the recipes that you can whip up at home.
Just be wary of the concentration of chili that you use because the chili solution can burn the leaves if it is too strong.