luvnsurf
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: Zone 9, Coastal

Caterpillars eating Swiss Chard

Hi there! We have beautiful swiss chard but they caterpillars are eating it before we can! Any suggestions in how to combat the little buggers? We have been picking them off and feeding them to the pitcher plant but I was looking for a more long term solution. :) They are growing in pots and we have small bunches in each. I do not want to use a pesticide. Any suggestions?

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

If you don't want to use pesticides then you are stuck picking. If you want to use a non toxic organic pesticide then Bt is what you want for caterpillars (its a type of bacteria). Dipel and Thuricide are common bottle names.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28238
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Why kill off perfectly good source of food for your carnivorous plants? Everybody wins. :wink:

luvnsurf
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: Zone 9, Coastal

applestar wrote:Why kill off perfectly good source of food for your carnivorous plants? Everybody wins. :wink:
LOL. I might need to get some more carnivorous plants then! They are fairly large caterpillars ....

I do wish I knew what kind of caterpillars they are though, since I attract Monarch caterpillars with milkweed. These don't look the same. Thoughts?

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Look up beet armyworm and pray that is not what you have.

Chard is a variety of beet, but those worms will attack a lot of things including tomatoes.

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: ohio

I'd say to go with hand-picking. That's probably your best bet.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

luvnsurf
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: Zone 9, Coastal

It looks similar to a beetworm but I am not entirely sure. These caterpillars have, or at least one of them, has kinda like a horn. I will try and take a picture tonight and upload it. Thanks!



Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”