papaya/caterpiller - Knowledgebase Question

Orlando, FL
Question by drmacdon
January 19, 1998
Caterpillers are eating the leaves of my papaya plant. How do I control them? Should we have a regular routine of some sort?


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Answer from NGA
January 19, 1998

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If there aren't too many of the pests, you can pick them off and squash them. If there are so many that they are damaging the plant, they can be controlled with Thuricide (liquid) or Dipel (powder). The active ingredient of both is a bacterium that infects only caterpillars. This product is not harmful to humans or animals and does a good job controlling all kinds of butterly and moth larvae. Read instructions on the container and follow them carefully. These are most effective against young caterpillars, so keep an eye on the plant and apply the insecticide when they appear. The best routine you can adopt is to pay close attention to all of your plants and the soil so you can get to know your garden ecosystem.

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