An Organic Way to Rid Grapes of Caterpillars

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Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears

  • Gloves

  • Bucket

  • Mosquito netting

  • Predator insects

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped hot peppers

  • Mason jar

  • 1 pint hot water

  • Cheesecloth

  • Bowl

  • 1 quart water

  • 2 tbsp. liquid dishwashing soap

  • Spray bottle

Caterpillars often hide on the undersides of leaves or camouflage themselves on sticks.

Caterpillars, such as the grape berry moth larva, feed on grapes and grapevine leaves. When the caterpillars infest your grape vines, they can ruin your crops. Remove the caterpillars by using organic pesticides or organic removal techniques. People choose to grow grapes organically because they do not contain pesticide residue. Pesticides are harmful to the health of human beings and animals. Avoiding chemicals can lead to productive grapevines and better tasting grapes.


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Step 1

Remove fallen grape leaves from the ground. Place the leaves in a garden bag or compost bin. Fallen leaves give the caterpillars a place to form cocoons.

Step 2

Prune the infested grapevine canes with pruning shears. Place the infested canes in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and discard it.


Step 3

Pick caterpillars off the grapevines. Wear gloves to prevent touching the caterpillars and place them in a bucket. Feed the caterpillars to chickens or birds. You can also release the caterpillars in a location away from the garden.

Step 4

Cover the grapevines with mosquito netting. The netting prevents the caterpillars from laying eggs so they do not infest the grapevines.


Step 5

Introduce predators into the garden to remove the caterpillars. Tachinid flies, paper wasps, ladybird beetles and lacewings will eat either the caterpillars or the moth eggs.

Step 6

Place 1/2 cup of finely chopped hot peppers into a jar. Add 1 pint of hot water. Place a lid on the jar and allow it to sit overnight. Strain the peppers through cheesecloth and pour the liquid into a bowl. Add 1 quart of water and 2 tbsp. of liquid soap and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the foliage of the grapevines to make them unattractive to the caterpillars.


Purchase predatory insects at a local nursery.


Wear gloves when handling hot peppers because they can irritate skin and eyes.



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