Getting Rid Of Caterpillars?

Does anyone have a home remedy to get rid of caterpillars? I had several yesterday climbing up the sides of my house in the backyard. They're hairy, green striped with black heads, and reddish orange stripes underneath.


Our yard was mowed yesterday and I have flower gardens with roses, salvia greggi, victorian lace salvia, butterfly bushes and a pecan tree. I've never had trouble with caterpillars in the seven years we've lived here. Help!

Hardiness Zone: 8b

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
August 8, 20080 found this helpful

There's this great non-toxic new bug spray that's safe to use around kids, pets & food. It's called "ORANGE GUARD". (because it's made from oranges)


* As far as caterpillars go, they seem to have a sort of "life cycle" because it seems every 7 or 11 years or so, here in Western Washington we have an infestation of caterpillars too... Then the state or county sometimes comes in with helicopters & sprays the trees... When the caterpillars invade, the leaves all have massive amounts of holes in them from the critters snacking. It looks cool with the moonlight beaming through the holes in the leaves, but it devastates the trees for years to come.

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By Paula (Guest Post)
August 8, 20080 found this helpful

Some caterpillars turn to butterflies, are you sure what kind of caterpillar you have? I would hate to poison a caterpillar without knowing what it was going to turn into; do you have a college or an extension service that you could contact and ask if they know what kind of insect it it?

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August 11, 20080 found this helpful

Seven Dust will kill them. We use it in the garden. When it rains or gets wet it must be reapplyed.

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August 15, 20160 found this helpful

Seven dust does not work. I have already tried that!

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
August 11, 20080 found this helpful

I too think you should find out what kind of caterpillars they are and also find out about their life cycles, advantages and disadvantages, before possibly poisoning them.


Every creature great and small deserves thoughtfulness and not just a quick easy fix for our comfort. In nature even a snake or a spider have their ecological purpose for our ultimate advantage even if we don't always like their ways.

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August 11, 20080 found this helpful

Here is a site that might help you identify them. You have butterfly bushes which would attract all kinds of butterflies. Please do not kill them until you find out what they are. You may be killing all the butterflies you try to attract with your flowers. If you only saw several, not dozens and dozens it is more possible they are butterfly larvae.


If you know what kinds of butterflies you have in your garden, you can type them in at :
and see if they have the caterpillar picture.

You could put a few in a large jar with holes in the lid and put a stick and various leaves until you know what they eat, and then see if they turn into a chrysalis or spin a cocoon. If the became chrysalis they are butterflies.

One final site: They say if you tell them where you found it and send a photo they will try to identify it for you.


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By David (Guest Post)
February 24, 20090 found this helpful

Hi. We are beginning to see the first sign of the dreaded hairy caterpillar in Spain which is dangerous for our ground sniffing Yorkshire Terrier. Has anyone any ideas how we can get rid of these? We have destroyed two nests that were on our pine trees but we have been told not to tread on them as the spines fly off and are still dangerous. We need an urgent reply if at all possible please.


d_dutch at sky dot com (please remove spaces and change at to @ and dot to .)

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