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What Are Caterpillars?

Caterpillars are the larvae of Moths and Butterflies. Moths and Butterflies belong to the Lepidoptera group containing more than 150,000 species. Adult Butterflies do not damage crops and mostly feed on nectar. Caterpillars, however, can cause significant damage to crops with their biting and chewing mouthparts. 

Caterpillar Infestation Signs & Symptoms

Caterpillars feed on young shoots and leaves and have an enormous feeding capacity which can leave plants decimated and tissue devoured. Tiny caterpillars cannot chew so graze the underside of leaves. This makes identification more tricky as upper leaf surfaces remain undamaged. Young caterpillars are found in groups, spreading over plants as they grow. As their size increases, so does the damage: leaves are skeletonised, and flowers, fruits and growing tipsare consumed. Certain species mine leaves or bore holes into stems, making them difficult to detect. Caterpillars also spoil plants with the frass deposits. 

How To Control Caterpillars

The first step to take in protecting your plants from Caterpillars is to set up our pheromone traps. Dragonfli offer species-specific traps to catch the Moths of harmful Caterpillars, such as the Box Tree MothCodling Moth, Plum Fruit Moth, Pea Moth, Leek Moth, and Silver Y MothThese traps provide an early warning system for future Caterpillar infestations.

Caterpillars can be treated effectively with nematodes. Dragonfli supply a Caterpillar Killer nematode pack, as well as a range of nematodes specific to certain species of Caterpillar including; Codling Moth Killer, Plum Fruit Moth Killer, Box Tree Caterpillar Killer and Cutworm Killer. Spray the nematodes directly onto Caterpillars, and they will enter the caterpillars on contact and kill them from inside. Nematodes provide a safe and natural way to kill Caterpillars on edible plants, as they are harmless to humans. Nematode applications are made easier and more accurate when applied with our Nema Super Sprayer.