catapillers munching away in garden

Any suggestions for running off those pesky caterpillars? They are those little white pest, about an inch long and they are starting to annoy me. I work too hard growing stuff to feed it all to bugs :)
njb
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Let the ducks eat them. Chickens will do it, too, but you have to be careful with chickens because they also like some of your garden plants.
Or, you can pick them all off and drop them into a can of soapy water.
Ray
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norma briggs wrote:

Bill
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Agreed....
K.
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Looks like it's up to me to disagree....
First of all, before any kind of treatment, it's always good to positively identify the pest. There are online sites with pictures, or you can ask more detailed questions here. It's helpful to know what kind of plants the caterpillars are attacking, and where you live.
Once you have identified the caterpillar, you have several options. If they will turn into beautiful butterflies, you may wish to leave them alone. I plant extra dill and parsley each year for this purpose. You can wait a bit and see if your local birds clean them up (it helps if you have a bird friendly yard, with shelter and a water source). You can hand-pick them, dropping them into a bucket of soapy water. Sometimes a sharp blast from the hose is effective.
If you feel you need to take it to the next level, please consider using a Bt formulation instead of Sevin. Bt is a naturally occurring bacteria that disrupts the digestive system of caterpillars and leads to their death. It is available in most garden centers and is not expensive. (Mosquito "dunks", used to kill mosquito larvae, are another form of Bt.) It normally comes as a powder, which is mixed with water and sprayed on the plants. The caterpillars stop feeding soon after ingesting it, and die a day or two later. It has a minimal environmental impact, although you shouldn't spray it around indiscriminately.
Cheers, Sue
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> Bill Bolle < snipped-for-privacy@azalea.net> wrote:
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Do you know a brand name offhand? I don't remember seeing any of this stuff at local garden centers.
I have had good luck against tomato hornworms using soap-based sprays, with the side effect that the formerly-scruffy tomatoes went berserk and grew HUGE, and made more tomatoes than we could possibly eat. (Probably due to potassium salts in the soap)
~REZ~
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Dipel is one brand commonly available in a good garden center, and there are a lot of places online that sell it. You can also search under "Bacillus thuringiensis "
Sue
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> >If you feel you need to take it to the next level, please consider using
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Thankx! saved for reference.
~REZ~
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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 17:53:16 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Rez) wrote:
:) :)I have had good luck against tomato hornworms using soap-based sprays, :)with the side effect that the formerly-scruffy tomatoes went berserk :)and grew HUGE, and made more tomatoes than we could possibly eat. :)(Probably due to potassium salts in the soap) :) :)~REZ~
What kind of soap, Rez? Those with scrawny tomatoes want to know!
Ev
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wrote:

Garden-Safe Insecticidal Soap by Schultz. Not only did it kill off the hornworms, the formerly-scrawny tomatoes soon looked like they ate passing children -- you almost didn't dare go in there with 'em :)
They got lots of water and heat (this being the SoCal desert), but no one fertilized them or did another thing with 'em (the area had got some horse manure the year before, but last year's tomatoes didn't grow like these!) And our soil (using the word loosely, it's mostly sand) tests almost nitrogen-free, and so alkaline [calcium salts] that it's off the scale. Not exactly great garden dirt.
~REZ~
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Actually Sevin is a poor first choice because it is such a broad spectrum pesticide it kills off predatory insects and pollinators along with the target pest. A good choice would be BT which is a bacterial pesticide that specifically targets caterpillars and is marketed as Dipel or Thuricide.
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chemicals as possible. I know I will always have bug problems being on the Texas Gulf coast-bugs love that hot humid weather.
My problem has not reached a real crisis level yet... a few plants have leaves that look like lace--but I want to be ready. I know its not the kind of caterpillars that turn into butterflies cause they have not touched the dill or the parsley. I plant extra dill just for those guys and gals since they usually munch it bare. I call them caterpillars cause I don't know what else to call them, have seen them all my life and as a kid used to think they were poisonous to touch....lol...kids.
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Some of the big hairy caterpillers that turn into big pretty butterflies will irritate the crap out of young skin. I remember getting hives from touching them when I was a little kid, tho they don't bother me now. So in a way, you were right :)
~REZ~
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