Caterpillars in Yard - Knowledgebase Question

kalamazoo, MI
Question by kaspar
June 11, 1999
We seem to have alot of caterpillars in our yard. What is the best way to control them. Also, do they do any damage to vegetable gardens?


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Answer from NGA
June 11, 1999

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Certain types of caterpillars, such as tomato hornworms or cabbage loopers, do munch on vegetable plants. However, if you keep a close watch on your plants, looking for tell-tale ragged edges and holes on leaves, as well as dark brown pellet-shaped droppings, you can spot the caterpillars and handpick them off the plants. No spraying should be necessary for caterpillars on veggies.

As for the caterpillars in your yard, it's a good idea to figure out what they are before attempting to control them. Also, determine what, if any, damage they are doing to which plants. Spraying indiscriminately can upset nature's balance and may do more harm than good. Caterpillars provide a tasty meal for birds and of course, if they survive, turn into butterflies or moths! Send another e-mail to the database describing the caterpillars and any damage they are doing, and we can help you identify a solution. Thanks for writing!

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