Pest Control

When caterpillars invade…

I noticed caterpillars chomping their way through my tatsoi yesterday and spent some time picking and squishing, only to return today to find they have traveled across the mustard, rainbow chard and mizuna and have now started on the rocket. They are hard little critters to spot, so I’m turning to the internet, for a natural remedy.

I found a post on home-made remedies from Colin Campbell on Gardening Australia from back in 2009.

Colin advises, “Be careful of these solutions around children, as they should not be ingested. Don’t store them in soft drink bottles and make sure you keep them out of reach of children.”

Here’s what I’m going to try:

Caterpillar, Grasshopper and Possum Deterrent: Mix a cup of molasses into one litre of water and spray it over new foliage. (I read somewhere else that caterpillars would rather starve that eat this)

Aphids, Caterpillars and Other Insects: Add two tablespoons of soap flakes to one litre of water and stir thoroughly until completely dissolved (this is quicker in warm water). There is no need to dilute this further, just spray it on as is.

And I like this little tip, for calling in the predators to help out with the job:

Predator Attractor: Predators that prey on pests are great things to have in the garden. Lacewings are particularly desirable because they consume aphids and many other pests. To encourage them into your garden, dissolve one teaspoon of a yeast based sandwich spread in water and spray it all over the plants.

There are lots more tips given, so check the full post here.