Caterpillars

Time to act:

Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug

Hungry, voracious caterpillars can be found in a wide variety of colours and sizes. Some feed on fruits, roots and stems, but the likes of the cabbage white butterfly, hawk moth and winter moth feed on leaves. Although they may at first seem an attractive form of wildlife, large colonies can strip leaves bare.

Symptoms

Shredded leaves caused by an infestation of caterpillars. In some cases, the leaves are completely decimated and the plant can die.

Find it on

just about anything

Advertisement

Organic

Pick them off by hand and dispose of them, keeping a special lookout after dark. In the greenhouse or conservatory, you could use the biological control Trichogramma brassicae, which is a tiny wasp that targets caterpillar eggs.

Chemical

The moment you find signs of caterpillars, spray the plants with pyrethrum.

Advertisement

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Capsid bugs

Leaf miner fly

Thrips

Slugs

Related offers

Offer

Save 15% on apple trees

Save 15 per cent on some of Monty's favourite apple varieties, including 'Herefordshire Russet', as featured in the October issue of BBC Gardeners' World Magazine.

Order now

Offer

Cotinus collection - save £6

Pick up a perfect cotinus collection, comprising three interesting varieties - 'Grace', 'Royal Purple' and 'Golden Spirit' - from Hayloft. Buy three plants for £18, or save £6 when you buy six for just £30.

Order now

Offer

Wheelbarrow - save £50

Buy this sturdy wheelbarrow for just £49.99 (normally £99.99) at Clifford James. It has plenty of capacity and with its weight balanced over two wheels, it's easy to move around with one or both hands.

Order now