The one-inch green caterpillars with stripes that eat your trees and plants during early spring could be winter moth caterpillars. They can kill trees in less than a season. Trees can withstand 25% damage to their leaves before experiencing permanent damage. Killing winter moth caterpillars should be a priority. At the caterpillar stage, they are the most defenceless and easiest to kill. You wouldn't wait for a cub to grow into a bear to fight it. Likewise, you should kill winter moth caterpillars while you still have a chance.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Bacillus thuringiensis
- Spray bottles
- Insecticidal soap
Pour one tbsp of Bacillus thuringiensis and three cups of water into a spray bottle. Shake the spray bottle to mix the bacterium and water. Spray trees and leaves where you see winter moth caterpillars. The bacterium solution is used to kill butterfly and moth caterpillars.
Pour half cup of insecticidal soap and two cups of water into a spray bottle. Shake the spray bottle to mix the solution. Spray the soap directly on the caterpillars. The soap works best with direct contact with them.
Pour four ounces of Sevin or Malathion and five cups of water into a spray bottle. Shake the spray bottle to mix it. Spray the insecticide around the areas populated with winter moth caterpillars. The insecticide is safe for most plants. Do not use more than is suggested by the manufacturer.
Tips and warnings
- Wear safety gloves, goggles and mask when handling Bacillus thuringiensis, insecticidal soap, Sevin and Malathion.
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