How do I stop caterpillars from eating my rocket?
Caterpillars are the larvae of moths and butterflies and are voracious eaters. They can cause serious damage to your plants in a matter of a day or two so it’s really important to keep a keen eye on your crop and destroy these little buggers at every opportunity! Generally, if you see wholes in your leaves, you’ve got caterpillars. Theres 1001 ways to get rid of them, but lets’ just look at 3 natural effective methods that either combined or on their own can be employed simply and effectively.
Option 1 – ‘The Pick and Squash’ method.
Yep, it may seem primative for us Urbinites, but you can quite simply just squash the little buggars with your fingers. Just comb through the effected plants, searching under the leaves and around the base of the plant. When you spot one, just squash it!
Option 2 – ‘The natural home-made spray’ method:
Grade 3 cloves of garlic and half a red chili and sift through a paper towel or cheesecloth into a spray bottle with water and a tablespoon of olive oil. Spray the affected plant thoroughly every couple of days for a week or so, and this should detour the little buggers. It may not always kill them, but it will make things very unpleasant and reduce their numbers substantially.
Option 3 – Pyrethrum ‘the natural store bought spray’ method:
Pyrethrum is a natural insecticide made from a type of Chrysanthemum plant. Pyrethrum works extremely well as it will kill most insects on contact. You can buy this at any bunnings or plant nursery shop. You only want to spray the affected plant as you do not want to kill the happy bugs like spiders, lady bugs, praying mantus and especially bees. Although this is 100% natural, it’s best not to spray the plant at least 2 weeks prior to harvest. We recommend using this product sparingly as a last resort option.