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How to eliminate Caterpillars eating leaves

Bradenton, FL

A particular shrub I have is being eaten alive by caterpillars. Lizards also hang out on the shrub. I would like to use something like Bug B Gone and be done with it, but I do not want to harm the lizards. Any ideas other than picking the caterpillars off the leaves daily?

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

You could post a picture of the shrub and the caterpillar or tell us what kinds they are. Could be they aren't even caterpillars, maybe sawfly larvae. This can help us look for options, maybe something that will prey on them.
I personally don't believe in using broad spectrum insecticides. If you ID your problem, you may be able to apply an IPM method or "Integrated Pest Management".
In general, there is Bacillus thuringiensi kurstaki (BTk), which is suppose to go after caterpillars who eat the leaves specifically. Read more here:

Howell, MI

Most caterpillars eat the leaves of plants and some will have preferences for younger or older leaves and even the flowers. If you delay in taking precautions. You will be seeing your plants dying because these caterpillars would not let them live. Using the methods you mentioned are some chemicals involved can harm your plants. My friend from CT was also going from the same problem of caterpillars. He also had some shrubs. He told his friends about the infestation, his friend suggested him to call Exterminator Trumbull CT at http://www.yalepest.com/trumbull-pest-exterminators/ , said they will help. They will properly Exterminate your Plants without harming the Growth and it really helped.

This message was edited Jul 17, 2018 11:28 PM

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)


Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

LOL to DaleMack. Sure spend hundreds when you can spend dollars.

Have you identified which caterpillars they are? Sometimes the butterfly should win out over the bush. They will not be on it forever. One of my biggest regrets was one day killing a ton of caterpillars on a vine. Later I IDed them and wished I had just let them be. The vine would have recovered. Lots of people have butterfly gardens and actually grow plants caterpillars favor as their food.

I agree with Loretta_NJ. My experience is that Bacillus thuringiensis works great and best of all does not kill you too. I used it every year once on my petunias. The flowers would be eaten overnight till there were none. They would be eaten about 3 weeks after they started to flower. The cats were GONE all season after spraying just once and it won't kill you are anything else out there.

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