How to Kill Caterpillars From Destroying Trees


To some people, caterpillars are cute and slightly fuzzy creatures that eventually turn in to butterflies. However, to a gardener or someone with lots of decorative trees, caterpillars can be a nightmare. Caterpillars eat away the leaves of trees and plants; if enough caterpillars infest a single organism, they can do a lot of damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree trimmer
  • Insecticide soaps
  • Garden sprayer
  • Baccilus thuringiensis var. kurstaki
  • Cut caterpillar web bags out of a tree as soon as you notice them. These hold the baby caterpillars before they are grown enough to venture out. Use the pruning end of a pole tree trimmer to snip them free from the limbs that hold the bag. Burn the bags to destroy the caterpillars.

  • Spray an insecticide soap on the caterpillars. Fill a garden sprayer with the insecticide and spray the tree. The spray will kill caterpillars that it comes in contact with.

  • Fill a garden sprayer with Baccilus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, or "Btk." Spray it on trees to kill caterpillars. This type of insecticide doesn't need to be sprayed directly on the bug to kill it.

  • Scrape off egg clusters as you see them. They are attached to tree limbs and look like dark growths. Remove clusters with a knife, a tree trimmer blade or even a stick. Burn the clusters that you take off.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear a mask, a long sleeve shirt and a hat when spraying insecticides to keep the spray from getting on your skin.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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