Caterpillars are one of the most destructive pests that marijuana growers struggle with on a daily basis. These destructive little pests are capable of devouring a small area filled with marijuana plants in a matter of days. When your crop is at stake, it’s important to learn how to get rid of caterpillars as quickly and easily as possible.
While experienced marijuana growers can tell that getting rid of caterpillars and other pests in your growing area isn’t difficult; home growers may still need information on how best to get rid of pests effectively.
Read on to find simple and effective ways to keep caterpillars away from your cannabis plants. Let’s see what a caterpillar is and learn how to deal with this hungry pest that will destroy your weed farm.
What is a caterpillar?
Caterpillars are insects in the larval stage. They are not yet ripe. You can find caterpillars in butterfly and moth species and scientists believe you can get over 175,000 different species across the world.
In the larval stage, a caterpillar is perhaps the most devastating creature in the butterfly and moth family. Although small and not yet mature, a caterpillar can measure between 1 mm and 15 centimeters.
The majority of caterpillars in the world today are herbivorous, which means that they eat only green vegetables or grasses. However, you can find a carnivorous or cannibalistic minority.
Given their specific anatomy, it is easy to tell the difference between caterpillars and their larval counterparts of other species. Some of the features that distinguish caterpillars are:
- 12 simple eyes (stemmates).
- 5 pairs of legs maximum.
- They have V or Y shaped lines on the front of the body.
- They have hooks and limbs that allow the caterpillars to easily climb onto their prey without difficulty.
It’s not easy to spot a caterpillar in your weed garden, but you’ll definitely notice a big change as these insects invade your crops. They are known to cause massive destruction in a matter of days, and unless you do something about it, they can quickly destroy all of your plants.
Fortunately, you are not without help. Now it’s easier to learn how to keep caterpillars away from your weed plants. However, before you can even learn how to prevent caterpillars on weedy plants, you need to be able to recognize if caterpillars have invaded your plants.
How To Know That Caterpillars Are Infesting Your Cannabis
A caterpillar invasion in your cannabis can happen in several ways, it is important to learn how to recognize them. To recognize them, you need to look for signs ranging from small and subtle to large and noticeable. It could be that some leaves have been chewed off or it could be as serious as the complete devastation of your leaves, buds and branches. However, pests can appear, if left untreated they can eventually destroy your entire marijuana crop.
There are a few early signs to watch out for. Some of the notable characteristics of caterpillar invasion include:
Chewed leaves and flowers
The first thing you’ll probably see if there’s a caterpillar infestation are holes in the leaves. As mentioned, caterpillars are herbivores and quickly devour any green matter. The leaves are the first signs. Apart from the leaves, the caterpillars will burrow deep inside the marijuana buds. In fact, the caterpillars target fresh buds and the result is a withered bud and an overall harvest.
yellowing of leaves
After a few days of caterpillar invasion, your plants will start showing yellow leaves. In most cases, this happens after damage has been done to the stem and/or roots.
Caterpillars have no manners at all. They chew your weed leaves without any regular pattern. The holes can be tiny, some measuring a few millimeters while others are up to a few centimeters long, with no particular pattern.
The worst damage is caused when the caterpillars eat the stems. These insects start by digging holes in the stem to devour the materials of the marijuana stem. If left untreated, the stem will fall off in no time, and that would be the end of that marijuana stem.
Ingenious ways to get rid of caterpillars on marijuana plants
Once you notice the caterpillar infestation in your marijuana, you need to act fast lest they devastate the crop. What can you do to get rid of these insects from your cannabis? This part will explore four proven methods for getting rid of caterpillars on weedy plants.
1. Physically remove them
Wondering if it is possible to physically remove caterpillars from your farm? Although it is difficult, if not impossible, to do this on large plots of land, those growing on smaller plots may be able to remove the caterpillars by hand. Once you spot the caterpillar, all you have to do is pull it out and kill it. This method requires a lot of time and observance. You will need to keep a constant eye on your crops.
2. Use bacteria sprays
Bacterial sprays that contain certain pesticides are very effective in killing caterpillars. If you choose this method as your preferred method, you must find a spray pump and use it as directed on the pesticide label. Be sure to find a spray that will not harm humans. Also keep in mind that these can also kill beneficial insects. You should not apply pesticides near harvest time.
3. Depend on praying mantises
Praying mantises may appear to be pests themselves, but they are actually very good at eliminating caterpillars. These creatures patiently await anything that might invade your crops and as soon as they spot caterpillars, praying mantises turn those devastating caterpillars into their next meal.
4. Rely on parasitic wasps
Parasitic wasps are another insect that will work to control caterpillars on your behalf. This army of parasitic wasps know what they want in caterpillars – they kill caterpillars and some use caterpillar bodies to lay and hatch their eggs. If you can get the ecosystem to do your job for you, it makes your job so much easier.
You shouldn’t be too anxious when caterpillars invade your cannabis. If you are able to select them manually, do so. But if you have a huge patch of land where you put your cannabis, then apply other methods, including the use of bacterial sprays. Otherwise, for small portions, wasps and praying mantises can do the work for you and save you a lot of time and resources. The best way to deal with a caterpillar infestation on your cannabis is to act quickly.
Warning: This content is intended for educational purposes only. It has been compiled with research from external sources. it is not intended to replace medical or legal advice. Please consult your local laws for the legality of cannabis consumption.
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