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Caterpillars- how can I stop/reduce them?

(11 Posts)
HarrietJones Sun 04-Sep-11 20:29:46

Mainly for next year but I've loads at the moment.

aliceliddell Sun 04-Sep-11 20:39:16

Aren't there some hideous creatures called ignumen (sp?) wasps that lay eggs in the caterpillars which hatch and kill them? Can you get biological pest control like that? Evil but effective....

HarrietJones Sun 04-Sep-11 20:43:59

Not heard of them.
It wouldnt be 'old lady who swallowed a fly' scenario though would it?

Takver Mon 05-Sep-11 10:48:36

What plants are they on? I pick and squash on brassicas & raspberries, so long as you do it a few times a week its pretty easy to keep them under control.

Takver Mon 05-Sep-11 10:49:08

If you do squash, a pair of marigold rubber gloves makes it much less nasty!

aliceliddell Mon 05-Sep-11 11:12:38

Harriet I expect there must be someone on t'interweb who does them and the equally vile and effective nematode (?sp) worms

Takver Mon 05-Sep-11 12:02:59

Defenders are very good for all sorts of biological controls (here)

I don't see anything on their website for catapillars, but I'd definitely recommend giving them a ring and talking to them. I've always found them very helpful (I think they're a small business and you get to talk to the people who actually breed the bugs!).

Takver Mon 05-Sep-11 12:05:32

One other suggestion that I've never actually tried myself, though always mean to is to make a comfrey feed that is actually half comfrey half rhubarb leaves. Then strain this and use as a foliar feed. The rhubarb helps put off the caterpillars, and the comfrey strengthens the plant. I imagine you could use nettles instead of the comfrey if you didn't have any comfrey plants.

I've seen it recommended a few places, and suspect it would definitely help, though again it depends what your caterpillars are on.

ragged Mon 05-Sep-11 12:08:43

Encourage wasps into your garden, they prey on the blighters.

HarrietJones Mon 05-Sep-11 19:17:40

Currently on strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, anything in the greenhouse

inmysparetime Sun 11-Sep-11 19:35:34

Aliceliddell they are spelt "ichneumon" wasps,there are also ichneumon flies. I only know because I saw some in the garden and I looked in my bug book.
Robins love caterpillars, as do blackbirds and starlings.

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