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caterpillars are eating my plants.


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Ok so as the title says "caterpillars are eating my plants.  " Once I found a big green one, and killed it, sometimes I find some small ones who suffer the same fate as the big one. Sorry I forgot to take any pictures of them,  but I am sure you all know what caterpillars look like. 

But for the most part i dont see any Yet something is still munching on my leafy plants. 

I was thinking Neem oil, or napalm , I am leaning toward Napalm 'cause I love the smell of Napalm in the morning. LOL

 but perhaps you all know of a better solution. Any and all advisee is appreciated. 

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Try any of these

For one liter (one quart) of natural caterpillar repellent, add a combination of the following:

  • 1 teaspoon mild dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon of any of the these (chopped): garlic cloves, onion, red pepper or ground chili

To extract the active compounds, you can either:

  • blend the mixture and let it sit for 24 hours, then filter it (keep the juice, discard the pulp).
  • or, boil the chopped plants for 30 minutes, let it sit and cool down. After that, strain out the spent plant materials, keeping the liquid preparation
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11 minutes ago, Denim said:

I sympathise. 

 

Last year I had a row of shrubs in the garden against the fence about 9 feet long.

 

Went to bed one night they were there. The very next morning about 7 feet of it had been eaten and stripped bare back to the naked twigs. Upon examination wife found about 12 great big fat happy green caterpillars moving on to the last few shrubs. She hand picked them all off and then treated with some kind of bug repellant she has handy. 

 

They never returned and about a month or so later the bushes had grown new green leaves. The next time I saw a beautiful big black butterfly on those shrubs I shortly afterwards removed a lot of cocoons responsible for the caterpillars.

 

I also put a sign up to discourage further trespassing by these uninvited diners.

 

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I am not laughing at your story, I would be <deleted> off also, but at your No Caterpillar Sign , Very funny!!

I Hope you have law abiding caterpillars and not the rowdy new generation that disregards signs, LOL 

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5 minutes ago, PeterCouling said:

I have not tried this myself but my ex-mother in law used to collect my cigarette butts and boil those using the resultant solution for pest control in her garden. She swore it worked. And if you are a smoker, its is cheap.

Fortunately non of us are smokers ,

but trying to give the caterpillars cancer seems to me to be only a long term solution. 

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Caterpillars are seasonal, and are probably long gone by now, past pupa and adult stages and in overwintering egg stage by now. So spraying of pesticides including insecticidal soap or botanicals like Aza neem concentrate may be a waste. 

 

Snails, grasshoppers and cutter bees also munch and take chunks out of foliage. 

 

The damage shown in the photos is minimal in relation to the volume of the foliage in the entire plant, and maybe could be tolerated. 

 

The manual method of removal presented by Denim is good,  but you have to be vigilant in spring and summer, because like he says, they can defoliate a plant overnight. 

 

The best prevention is to build healthy, bioactive soil and plant nutrition for resistance to pests and diseases.   See why:  

Why insects do not (and cannot) attack healthy plants | Dr. Thomas Dykstra | Regenerative Ag - YouTube

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Most butterflies lay eggs on a very limited number of plant species, often a few as one or two. Tracing the food source is a good way to identify which butterfly species the caterpillar is, or at least narrow the range. You can search the web for species based on the specific food plant is being attacked.

We have butterflies that are active all year, in higher numbers at times when food is more plentiful. Thai climate (Isaan at least) does not effect them as much as cooler climates.

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22 minutes ago, IsaanAussie said:

Most butterflies lay eggs on a very limited number of plant species, often a few as one or two. Tracing the food source is a good way to identify which butterfly species the caterpillar is, or at least narrow the range. You can search the web for species based on the specific food plant is being attacked.

We have butterflies that are active all year, in higher numbers at times when food is more plentiful. Thai climate (Isaan at least) does not effect them as much as cooler climates.

I don't want to know what species they are, i just want them dead or eating my neighbors plants. 

How would me knowing their names help me to to convince them to leave my plants along and move onto my noisy neighbors pants?

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14 minutes ago, sirineou said:

I don't want to know what species they are, i just want them dead or eating my neighbors plants. 

How would me knowing their names help me to to convince them to leave my plants along and move onto my noisy neighbors pants?

What not just let them eat your plants , your plants will grow back quick enough, plants are there to be eaten, rather than to be looked at 

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3 minutes ago, Mac Mickmanus said:

What not just let them eat your plants , your plants will grow back quick enough, plants are there to be eaten, rather than to be looked at 

You and me have a totally different definition of gardening, 😀

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/10/2021 at 7:12 PM, sirineou said:

Fortunately non of us are smokers ,

but trying to give the caterpillars cancer seems to me to be only a long term solution. 

Not to mention cruel. 

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On 10/15/2021 at 11:48 AM, drtreelove said:

Knowing the pest identification, If you get into it, it's fascinating, and makes you a better gardener. With an ID, you can learn about the pest life cycle and optimum timing for preventive treatments.  Without this, its purely guess work, and you may end up chasinf advanced infestations that are hard to control even with the most toxic pesticides.  Being uninformed often results in wasted money with poorly timed pesticide applications. And then there is unnecessary environmental contamination. If you care. 

 

You just want them dead, but are you sure that you're killing a destructive pest, unless you confirm the responsible pest, and that the damage is real, or just cosmetic.  Here's a start, books from the founder of the Siam Insect Zoo in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai. 

Pisuth Ek Amnuay - AbeBooks  There's another one on plant pests of importance in Thailand, but I can't find it now. 

 

 

Advanced pest infestations are difficult to control.  Prevention and early intervention is better.  There are many alternatives for biorational/less toxic preventive treatments.  IA and others have told of their preferences.

Wood vinegar wasn't mentioned.

Organic alternatives:

Neem seed oil extracts, attached: Azadirachtin concentrate product that is available. 

Bt biological control is good for caterpillars, but timing is critical because 1st and 2nd instar larvae have to ingest it by feeding on the sprayed foliage.

Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that infects and suppresses insect pests.

There are other botanicals with many YouTube videos on how to make your own insecticide/repellent. 

An organic grower of leafy greens that I know uses a backpack sprayer solution of wood vinegar and lemongrass extract. 

 

Not organic:   

Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid systemic chemical insecticide that is applied as a soil drench for root uptake and translocation throughout the foliage. OK maybe for ornamentals, but I would not use it for edibles. At proper timing and application rate and with water management, it can give one year residual effectiveness with one annual application. Slow to take up, but long lasting protection. Best for sucking insect prevention, like aphids and scale. Somewhat effective for chewing insects like caterpillars. Not for snails or cutter bees.  

And then there are the big guns.

Chaindrite Stedfast 30 SC is a potent pyrethroid (bifenthrin) and widely available. . 
You don't need the older generation, highly toxic insecticides like chlorinated hydrocarbons, organo phosphates, carbamates. The newer generation neonics and pyrethroids are bad enough on beneficial organisms, including soil bioligy, but less toxic than the older materials that many farmers and homeowners in Thialand still use, unnecessarily. 

 

That's why it helps to know what your target pest is, what host plants is goes to, and what the life-cycle and feeding habits are. Then you can more effectively use IPM, Integrated Pest Managment. 

 

Good growing condtions, soil and water managment can do a lot at preventing physioligical stress and nutrient deficiencies that attract pests.

 

 

Aza.jpg

Bt2.jpg

Imidacloprid.jpg

Beauveria.jpg

Chaindrite Stedfast 30 SC.jpg

I cannot imagine what this subforum would be like without your input. Great feedback as usual. Thank you. 

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On 10/10/2021 at 4:47 AM, mfd101 said:

But the big fat green caterpillars are magnificent, and the butterflies are very beautiful.

 

Sadly, life is full of difficult choices.

And we usually make the wrong one - especially, if one chooses the Occidental path - which has historical disastrous overtones. 

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