How to get rid of caterpillars in the garden

How to Get Rid of Caterpillars

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Here is how to get rid of caterpillars in the garden without damaging your plants. You know how damaging they can be if they make an infestation. 

They will eat all of your plants or at least destroy them in a matter of weeks if you stand still and do nothing about it. 

As you know, moths are the culprits that give birth to those caterpillars by laying eggs. And those caterpillars grow and become moths and fly away and the cycle goes on.

If you do not want any caterpillar infestation in your garden, then you have to stop moths in the first place from landing on your plants and laying eggs. For that, the following ideas will also work. I will point out those steps.

How to get rid of caterpillars in the garden 1
Amrut MoradeCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons / geograph.org.uk

1. Handpick Them One by One

If you see a few of those caterpillars roaming about the plants, just handpick them one by one and throw them away. 

I know it is time-consuming and may irritate you. But it is best if you want to save your plants without spending money. 

Get yourself a glove and throw it away. You can also use some wood sticks to pick them up if you are afraid to touch them.

2. Spray Some Neem Oil

If those caterpillars are not that big enough and you can not pick them up, then you have to use some natural spray. Neem oil can do this job for you.

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Get a few neem leaves or fruits, make a mixer, mix it with water, and spray for a few days on those infested areas. Those caterpillars will leave or die. 

Plus this will also repel all other garden pests that may harm your plants. So try it today.

3. Make Garlic Spray

If you do not have neem oil nearby then you can use garlic as a spray and it works the same. Make a pest with the garlic, mix it with water, and spray all over the infested plants.

Do it for a few days and they will leave as the garlic has a strong smell that that caterpillar and the moths can not handle. 

If you do it weekly then Moths will also not land on your plants and lay eggs. Garlic is very powerful and you should use it.

4. Buy Bacillus Thuringiensis

This one is not that known even to the professional gardener. Bacillus thuringiensis is a naturally occurring soil bacteria that is very toxic to caterpillars but will not harm pets and humans.

You can put them as liquid and spray on the caterpillar infestation. Then when eat those bacteria their digestive system will get heavily disrupted and they die sooner.

It is okay if you do not want to deal with bacteria and opt out of other ideas.

5. Lay Sticky Traps

Sticky tape or glue traps are my favorites for killing bugs and insects in the garden. Lay those traps near their infestations and they will get stuck and die out of hunger. Then you can throw away those traps. Easy! 

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caterpillar killer diy
RamjchandranCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6. Master the Companion Planting Idea

Companion planting means you will plant some repellent plants along with your regular plants. That way those caterpillars and other pests will leave the garden as the scent that those herbs will release is not something they like.

Plant rosemary, sage, or marigold in your garden strategically, and you will never have to worry about any garden pest problems in the future.

7. Get Floating Row Covers

This is a lightweight cover made of fabric to protect your garden from all kinds of pests. That is why those moths will not land and lay eggs and grow caterpillars.

That cover will allow sunlight, air, and water to reach the plants but will stop those pests that eat the plants.

If you have cabbage and broccoli or other similar vegetables, then you must cover them with this fabric. 

8. Lay Diatomaceous Earth Powder

Diatomaceous earth powder is a natural pest killer and can kill all kinds of pests. It is made from fossilized remains of diatoms. It is not harmful to humans but slightly to pets. So keep them away.

Spread the powder all over the infested areas by mixing it with water. Those caterpillars will die out of dehydration.

But remember to use a light portion of the powder as it may harm the plant if used in large quantities. Remember that.

9. Spray Vinegar Solution

No matter what, I can not stop talking about vinegar spray in pest control. This is how powerful the vinegar is and how easily it is available in the kitchen.

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Just mix the vinegar with water and spray all over the plants and those caterpillars will go away as the scent is not tolerated for them. But do not spray it directly and it may burn the plants. Mix it with water and then spray.

10. Buy a Few Birdhouses

Birds hunt those caterpillars, and if you attract birds in the garden, then they can eat them all in a matter of days. 

That is why feed them, make a birdhouse, or at least give them water in a small bowl and place it on the roof. They will come.

I feed 50 pigeons every day and they eat all the bugs nearby. Try it if you love birds.

My Recommendations

Get one of these caterpillar killer sprays for your garden.

Last Words

So this is how to get rid of caterpillars in the garden without harming your plants. Just do not overdo anything or else you will attract more pests that will join forces and eat all of your vegetables. 

Plan first and then hunt those moths and caterpillars down. Good luck.

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About Author

Nazim Ali

Nazim Ali is an engineer who loves fixing things at home. He loves to try new things and share the knowledge with the world.