Caterpillars eating Kale, Chard, and Beet Greens

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Is there an effective, organic way to repell caterpillars? We have so many holes in our various greens that they are barely worth cooking up. I'm hesitant to spray chemicals directly on the leaves that will be consumed...

Thanks!

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

BT!

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks!
Would Dipel Dust work? I had bought that earlier this spring for broccoli.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

DIPEL is a brand name for Bt. Just follow the directions on the package.

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

ok, great. I'll use it right away.

Thanks.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

If you can use some horticultural netting laid over a framework of garden canes, this deters the cabbage butterfly from laying her eggs that turn into the caterpillar's, you can get it from most garden stores and if you tell them what it is for, then you will get the right gage of netting, it is quite cheep and easy to add or remove, best time to do it is before the butterflies are about, the other way is to go out and hunt for the caterpillars and hand pick them from the crop, you need to check under the leaves as that is where the parent lays the eggs etc, if you dont get rid, these bugs will grow into there parents and you will have no crop left, good luck. WeeNel.

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks WeeNel.
I also have the same type of holes all over my rose mallow leaves (but not the blooms). Do caterpillars like those as well?

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Hmm, having some difficulty applying Dipel Dust to the plants in the garden.

Does anyone have any tricks for dusting the underside of the leaves when applying the Dipel Dust (BT)? Are there hand-held dusters for this sort of task, or perhaps a liquid spray version that would get rid of the caterpillars, too?

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Lots of handheld dust guns, There are also liquid versions of Bt. Thuricide seem the more readily available.

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Farmerdill. Is it easier to get to the underside of the leaves with a liquid version?

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Not really the dusters, direct the dust upward. Dust may be more convenient for a few plants becuase the sprays have to be mixed each time you use them. The dust is very stable, you can leave the excess in the duster, ready to pick up the next time you use it. I like the sprayer, because I may be spraying thousands of plants. Actually both the cabbage worm ( a butterfly larva) and the cabbage looper ( a moth larva) come to the top of the leaves to feed, so getting to the underside is not as important as for things like beetle larva.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_10551_10001_109756_______14414%7C14435%7C14436%7C109756?listingPage=true
http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=4&idproduct=87
I have two of the old pump type dust guns that I use for spot treatment. Work well, but I can't find anyone selling them today.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Farmerdill, I get my pump spray guns from B&Q the DIY store here in UK, do you have any of these stores close by your area, I know I visited that store down Florida way earlier this year but was not looking for that item, they are so handy, hope you have luck.

Peckhaus, another handy way to apply the powder to undersides of the leaves, is an old long handled makeup brush, you know the type for brushing your blusher to the cheeks, the bristles are so soft and they are washable too, use gloves for this job and hold the leaves in one hand as you brush with the other, you will need to turn the leaf over to brush, not if you have hundreds of plants to treat though. Good luck. WeeNel.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

I got a mustard & ketsup squirt bottle set from the dollar store.. Fill it with the powder and squeeze! Instant dust bomb.. :) Works great with slug bait powder or DEarth.. just blast under the plants..

Thumbnail by ZZsBabiez
Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, everyone. Now that I know a little more about dusters, I found these two smaller versions via a google search. Seems like there are a few different ways to apply this stuff in a small, home garden!

http://www.flowerdepotstore.com/huaddu.html

http://www.pestproducts.com/products/360dustwand.htm

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

One of mine is the Hudson. Works well.

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Lucky break - that is exactly the one we just ordered! Thanks again for the great suggestions.

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