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Caterpillars & Moths

Caterpillars, Worm Pests and Moth Control
 
Caterpillars are the larvae of moths or butterflies, members of the Lepidoptera order of insects. There are over 110,000 identified species. Some are called loopers or have worm in their names; most have their first name as the host plant or what structure they build (i.e., cabbage loopers, tomato hornworm and tent caterpillars). Perhaps the most devastating pest of garden crops, their cutting mouthparts devour many times their weight as they outgrow their bodies, molting five or six times before they pupate.

Caterpillar Control & Adult Moth Monitoring:

  • Monitor for Adult Moths: Use specific pheromone lures and traps; for instance, Codling Moth Trap, Gypsy Moth Trap or Beet Armyworm lure and trap. This will allow you to know you will have a problem with eggs and caterpillars shortly.

  • Caterpillar Egg Control - Use the following beneficial insects: Green Lacewing, Trichogramma Moth Egg Parasites and Ladybugs.

  • Caterpillar Pests - Larval Control: Use products from the following list or browse this entire category for more products:

Bonide Thuricide
• Neem Oil Products: Monterey 70% Neem Oil, BioNEEM, Rose Rx
PyGanic® Crop Protection EC 1.4 II
Safer Yard and Garden Insect Killer
Bonide Garden Dust
Monterey Garden Insect Spray
All Seasons Horticultural and Dormant Spray Oil
Surround WP Crop Protectant

  • Foliar applications of the beneficial nematode Steinernema feltiae (NemAttack Sf) are very effective against caterpillars. Be sure to apply in the evening or very early morning to avoid damaging UV exposure.

  • For Corn Earworm: Tassel applications of either nematodes or the above products are recommended.

Click on the caterpillar control products below for more info and ordering.

Cabbage Loopers
Cabbage loopers
Gypsy moth caterpillar
Gypsy Moth Caterpillar
Caterpillar to Moth Life Cycle
There are a few butterflies that migrate and live as long as a year before depositing eggs in the spring. However, most adult butterflies or moths emerge from pupation in the spring. Soon afterwards the females lay eggs close to or on the plants that the emerging caterpillars will feed on.

Once the caterpillars emerge, the feast is on! After molting five or six times (they literally outgrow themselves), most pupate. The cycle then starts again. Depending on the species and the climate, up to 4 generations a year may occur; in the colder areas, only one generation occurs a year.

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Moth Egg Parasites
Use this moth egg parasite if you are east of the Rocky Mountains.

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Moth Egg Parasites
Use this moth egg parasite if you are west of the Rocky Mountains.

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BONIDE<sup>®</sup> Thuricide
This Non-Toxic Bacteria is Nature's Defense Against Caterpillars.

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DiPel DF
OMRI LISTED. This bacillus is registered to control most larvae of Lepidoptera (caterpillar) on fruits, citrus, tropical fruits, vegetables, grains, and ornamentals.

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DiPel® ES - 2.5 gallon
Registered to control larval stages of most Lepidoptera on fruits, citrus, tropical fruits, vegetables, grains, flowers, herbs, turf, ornamental trees, and shrubs.

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$179.00
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