CATERPILLARS...they're back

One of the most frustrating parts of gardening, and food gardening at that, is when the balance of good vs bad insects is off and the bad ones take over. Each growing season comes with its introduction of new critters to deal with. Summer is definitely the time for caterpillars.

Below we show the different types of caterpillars you may see and ways to eradicate them.

Be on the Lookout for Loopers.

These guys are tiny and very difficult to see from a distance. Watch the video to learn how to detect and what to do.


The best thing you can do is remove the bugs when you see them, whether that be as a moth or the actual caterpillar itself. Best time of day to spot the critters is in the morning and late afternoon/night.

Captain Dead Jacks Spray is a great remedy for a caterpillar infestation. It contains an organic bacterium that the worms (caterpillars) will ingest and then die. It works very well on worms and caterpillars without harming beneficial insects. It  can be used up to the day of harvest.

Another spray that works well is, Monterey B.t. This spray contains Bacillus Thuringiensis or Bt. Bt is naturally derived from soil in many regions of the world. It works by the bug ingesting the spray that's on foliage and then it paralyzes the body. BT will not affect birds or other insects that will eat the dead bugs that have Bacillus ingested.

The insecticidal soap we provide in your annual amendment pack is good for prevention. However, when you find that you are being inundated with caterpillars - it may be time to bring out more concentrated and specialized sprays for the job (such as the ones we suggest above).

What is this?

This is the caterpillar of a Swallowtail Butterfly! We found this in the test garden this week! They love dill and parsley (sure enough he's hanging out on the ParCel). Many people grow extra herbs for them to eat.

What is this?

This is tell tale sign that a caterpillar is munching away. How do we know? Read below for details:

  • The round specs of dirt are caterpillar droppings (although it looks like dirt)
  • The leaf is chewed back to the rib.
  • Look behind the leaf - they like to hide and they blend in.