How to obliterate caterpillars?

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May 13, 2021
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Las Vegas, NV
If it comes to spraying your plants with something that needs to be reapplied after it rains (good thing OP lives in the desert)... I am a big fan of diluted vinegar and dish soap.
The amount of vinegar needed is very small otherwise you can damage plants.

This works against aphids, millibugs and causes caterpillars to curl up and fall of the plant they are on. They also find leaves that have been sprayed completely repulsive.

Every year ants have a go at farming millibugs on one plant or other on the terrace, and a single application kills all the millibugs and paralyses the ants for a couple of hours.

That's a good idea I hadn't considered because I wasn't sure if it was safe.. I have used dish soap when dealing with fungus gnats on my indoor plants before I decided to swap over to hydroponics.

Are you very thorough with your application, applying it both on top and underneath the leaves? I found with the DE it wasn't very effective because I wasn't getting underneath the leaves and my plants are now large enough that the caterpillars don't have to travel further than the leaf they hatch on.

I actually just ordered some DT today hoping that spraying it over top would be enough once they ate a hole through the leaf, but I would love if diluted vinegar and dish soap was just as effective. I'm assuming that in a small amount it is still safe for torts (perhaps only after it's rinsed off?) so I could give it a try before opening the DT.
 

MEEJogja

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That's a good idea I hadn't considered because I wasn't sure if it was safe.. I have used dish soap when dealing with fungus gnats on my indoor plants before I decided to swap over to hydroponics.

Are you very thorough with your application, applying it both on top and underneath the leaves? I found with the DE it wasn't very effective because I wasn't getting underneath the leaves and my plants are now large enough that the caterpillars don't have to travel further than the leaf they hatch on.

I actually just ordered some DT today hoping that spraying it over top would be enough once they ate a hole through the leaf, but I would love if diluted vinegar and dish soap was just as effective. I'm assuming that in a small amount it is still safe for torts (perhaps only after it's rinsed off?) so I could give it a try before opening the DT.
Id be interested to know how they compare if you try both.

I am not very thorough, and just target the infestation I'm trying to combat. It's probably a good idea not to go over the top or spray too regularly as the runoff will be very acidic.

Good luck!
 

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