How to Kill Little Green Garden Caterpillars

Little green caterpillars are a nuisance in many gardens.
Little green caterpillars are a nuisance in many gardens. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Caterpillars quickly turn lush garden spaces into sickly crops with chewed leaves. Many types of caterpillars infest gardens, and a number of species are small and green. The book “Pests and Diseases” explains that most caterpillars are managed using the same techniques. Once the caterpillars are controlled, damaged plants recover quickly. Take proactive steps to kill your little green garden pests and your plants will be good as new in a few weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Pollen and nectar plants
  • General purpose pesticide

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Pick caterpillars off of the plants as needed. Unlike fast-moving pests, small caterpillars are easily handpicked and disposed of manually. Handpicking reduces smaller caterpillar populations without chemicals or major changes to the garden landscape.

Plant pollen and nectar-producing plants in the garden to attract natural caterpillar predators. Vegetable gardens are more prone to caterpillar infestations because vegetables attract fewer natural predators than flowers. With pollen and nectar plants in the garden, caterpillar populations naturally decline.

Spray the garden with a pesticide approved for use on your garden plants. Check the pesticide's label to make sure it will not harm your garden plants. Most general purpose pesticides are approved for use on caterpillars, but they are not approved for all types of plants.


  • “Pests and Diseases”; Andrew Halstead, et al.; 2010
  • “Garden Wisdom & Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Plant, Grow, and Harvest”; Judy Pray, et al.; 2010
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