Have you ever woken up to all your veggies and plants in your garden filled with unexplainable holes that often left them inedible and dying over several days? With Provincial Pest Control, we can definitely give you an answer: the root of this problem is caterpillars. While some rarely damage the plants that are around them, most of them can be a serious pest to your garden as they can blend in with the background and turn uncontrollable.
How can they destroy your Garden?
Often referred to as worms, they look like larvae with “capsules-head” like with six legs in the front and “false legs” at the back. Many problematic caterpillars are at the immature life stage of moths.
All infestations start with laid eggs in batches onto your plants in your garden then, small caterpillars will hatch from each egg within a few days. They feed themselves by chewing on leaves and digging some tunnels into vegetables/fruits for a period of time ranging from 2 to 3 weeks. With the intake of food, they will grow larger before entering the cocoon stage. Some will emerge as a moth in the fall and lay more eggs onto your plants. That’s right, this vicious cycle is definitely never-ending!
Even if an infestation is easy to detect by holes in the plants and vegetables, they are very fast to cause disastrous results to your garden so, make sure to check the top and backside of your plants!
Types of Caterpillars
Throughout our number of experiencing years, we have encountered several caterpillars which increasingly infest gardens.
- The Io moth
They can be found in a number of Canadian provinces like Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and close to home; Ontario.
They feed themselves by eating many plants including garden plants and one thing to remember is to not bother them with your bare hands as they have stinging and venomous spines This is one of the few caterpillars in our area that has irritating and venomous spines for protection that can irritate your skin!
- Cabbage White Butterfly
Originally from Eurasia, this type of species is the source of all your headache during the springtime, as they are the most common caterpillars that infest residential and commercial gardens in North America.They can also be difficult to see as they are green and match with the green color of leaves.
One way to get rid of them is to pick them off and drop them in soapy water as this species can be a serious pest as they eat cabbages and pretty much everything.
- Cabbage Looper Moth
This is another very common garden pest on cabbage and other plants in North America. Here again, the caterpillar is green and can be found in the crowns of broccoli and in the inner leaves of cabbage.
Some ways to prevent these infestation
In early stages of infestation, you can try preventing this to progress any further by placing cardboard or tin foil at the base of your plants and keeping the ground around your plants free from debris where eggs might hide.
However, some caterpillars can fight against the measures as It is too late to notice that It has already reached a more serious stage.
If you have any signs of caterpillar infestations or have any other issues in Toronto or the GTA, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by calling us at 647-997-5080 or Get in touch with us to get a free inspection.