Are Caterpillars Good or Bad? Learn The Truth Here!

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When you think of caterpillars, you usually think of them as essential parts of a garden. While it is true that caterpillars play a role in the ecosystem, there are bad ones as well. It is important to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones so you can take care of your plants. Bad ones do not offer any value to the homeowner, and good ones turn into butterflies. 

If you are a passionate gardener, you may not be happy with bad caterpillars ruining your garden. Look up “pest control near me” today to eradicate them from your property. Meanwhile, read this blog to learn more about good and bad caterpillars. 

What are good caterpillars?

Caterpillars that are not dangerous to your garden and are beneficial to the ecosystem fall under the category of good caterpillars. Some of the good species of caterpillars include those of the swallowtail butterfly, monarch butterfly, and painted lady butterfly.

These caterpillars do not cause much damage to your vegetation and feed on specific host plants, thereby helping to balance the ecosystem.

What are bad caterpillars?

Caterpillars that cause damage to your plants by feeding on specific trees and leaves are considered bad caterpillars. These pests have the potential to destroy your vegetation if not treated in a timely manner. They damage the plant by feeding on the leaves, fruits, and flowers.

Some of the common signs that indicate an infected plant include:

  • Skeletonized leaves, where only the veins remain
  • Chewed leaves with irregular edges and holes
  • Caterpillar droppings or excrement on or beneath affected plants
  • Leaf rolls or webbing

How do you keep caterpillars away from your garden?

Caterpillars play an important role in the ecosystem; however, you may not want these damage-causing pests in your garden. If caterpillars have become an annoyance, there are some steps you can take to eliminate them. These steps are as follows:

  • Pick caterpillars and drown them in soapy water. Do not forget to wear gloves, as some caterpillars may sting.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis, commonly known as BT, is a naturally occurring bacteria that can be used to control bad caterpillars without causing damage to the vegetation.
  • Use pyrethrum-containing sprays to eliminate these bugs from your garden.
  • Caterpillars often hide and lay eggs around weed plants. Removing weeds from your garden can help control caterpillars.
  • Plants like mint and marigold work as a natural repellant for caterpillars. To keep caterpillars away, consider planting these in your garden.
  • Encourage natural predators such as wasps, spiders, birds, and ladybugs to control the caterpillar population in your garden.

If caterpillars are bothering you or being a nuisance in your garden, call pest control services today!