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A caterpillar infestation is one of the most feared crop diseases of cannabis growers, occurring mostly in outdoor crops. They devour plants quickly eating nonstop and their droppings can create fungus. Prevention is best so always inspect your plants carefully and watch for signs of caterpillars such as:

  • Bite marks on the leaves
  • Dark stains or rot on the buds
  • Small translucent or yellow eggs laid by butterflies, typically on the underside of the leaves
  • Small black deposits are signs of caterpillar droppings

You should take action quickly if you see any of these signs.

Getting Rid of Caterpillars

It is vital to act fast to get rid of a caterpillar infestation, there are different methods you can use or combine manual and biological remedies such as:

  • Manual removal – use plastic gloves and pick off any caterpillars you see.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis – an effective insecticide that will kill many species of caterpillar. Do not apply during the last 15 days of cycle and combine with manual removal.
  • Pyrethrin – a quick acting spray that stuns caterpillars so they fall from the plant, combine with manual removal. Spray after the sun goes down to avoid product degradation and it is easier to see caterpillars at night when they are more active.
  • Keep butterflies away – you should be suspicious anytime you see butterflies near your plants, they could be laying eggs. Always chase away butterflies and consider putting a fabric net around your plants.

These are the most effective methods to get rid of caterpillars. You should always be on the lookout for pests even after harvest. Check your plants carefully when you hang them upside down and make sure caterpillars do not escape to create chrysalises and start the whole cycle all over again.