What are green caterpillars?
Like all caterpillars, green caterpillars are small insects from eggs deposited by butterflies on plants. Once out of their eggs, they devour everything they can to grow quickly, before finally leaving the garden in peace to turn into butterflies. And if the process is poetic, the damage is much less pleasing, whether it be fruit trees or ornamental plants, a vegetable patch or clumps, leaves or roots, stems or buds.
Note that if the winter was mild, the risks invasion of green caterpillars are even larger, since the frost destroys the early egg-laying of butterflies and thus reduces the number of larvae. Last precision? Green caterpillars are rarely entirely green: depending on the species of butterfly, they can display peas, stripes or white, yellow, green, black spots, etc.
How to hunt or keep green caterpillars away?
Good news, there is a host of natural solutions to get rid of green caterpillars. Bad news, none is unstoppable, we will have to test before finding the right one! In all cases, the principle is the same: a liquid solution is sprayed on the branches, leaves and stems targeted by the caterpillars. We repeat the sprays very regularly, since as often with natural repellents, time is our best ally, the results being visible only after several days, even weeks of treatment. Whatever the solution chosen, we think of amending the soil to offer the attacked plant a maximum of nutrients which will help it to fight against attacks by green caterpillars. And we add a feeder to attract birds, fond of plump caterpillars!
Natural repellents against green caterpillars
- White vinegar is generally effective.
- A mixture of lukewarm water and organic black soap can repel insects.
- Bacillus Thurengiensi is a naturally insecticidal bacterium that destroys caterpillars, to mix with water and to spray.
- Green caterpillars would hate beer, it seems.
- Absinthe manure or nettle manure can frighten certain caterpillars, in addition to strengthening the natural defenses of plants.
- Pressed garlic juice or an infusion of garlic in hot water will scare away cats, but also green caterpillars.
- Peppermint essential oil mixed with a vegetable oil spray is another natural solution to test, without risks for plants.
How to remove or eliminate green caterpillars?
If the caterpillars are already there, it is better to remove the bulk of the troop. In other words, when we see a troop of green insects in full feast on the roses, we arm ourselves with a bag and pruners, we cut the leaf or the branch while watching that the caterpillars do not fall next and we lock it all in the bag. Second option for those who prefer not to prune their unfortunate shrubs, put on gloves and remove the green caterpillars by hand, again by enclosing them so that they do not escape.
There are also pheromone traps commercially, which can attract them away from plants. Finally, a anti netinsects can protect plants, but the result is nothing to write home about when you dream of enjoying your beautiful garden in summer.