How To Get Rid Of Caterpillars On Nasturtiums

How To Get Rid Of Caterpillars On Nasturtiums

Keep finding caterpillars on your nasturtiums but not sure how to get rid of the little buggers? Then this is the guide for you!

How To Get Rid Of Caterpillars On Nasturtiums

the simple answer is that there is no simple answer. The best, but definitely most laborious way to get rid of caterpillars on your nasturtiums is to simply pick them off.

You can then do the deed and get rid of them or if you are feeling a little more generous move them onto something else, far away from your nasturtiums.

This is the only real option you have apart from using sprays, but I really do try to avoid them wherever possible although I will talk about a few options further in this article.

Natural Predators

When thinking of a pest problem I always like to try and think of natural predators and how we can encourage more of them into our garden to feed on our pests.

As long as we don’t end up with a lady who swallowed the fly situation this can provide a natural and easy way to keep pests at bay.

So what naturally eats caterpillars? One of the big ones is birds, and blue tits in particular have a particular fondness for caterpillars.

Caterpillar Hunters!
Caterpillar Hunters!

How can we attract more blue tits into the garden then?

Well, The Wise Owl Blog says:

While blue tits love a range of feed they are particularly fanatical about suet balls and suet pellets. Hang your feeders away from fences and trees as these are ideal perches for cats. Domestic cats are one of the major causes of blue tit mortality.

Blue tits are fond of lunchtime acrobatics so provide feeders that they can grip onto as they eat (sometimes upside down!); a mesh peanut feeder is ideal scurry up and hop about on!

Peanuts are also a great source of protein for blue tits and perhaps their second favourite feed. However, ensure that peanuts are not left out during the nesting season as adult blue tits can try to feed their chicks with food that is much too large and indigestible for them.

Blue tits frequently have their large broods in garden nest boxes as they settle in for a frantic family-life. When hanging your nest box, aim to place it in a north easterly direction to keep chicks away from strong sunlight and wet winds.

https://blog.lovegardenbirds.co.uk/attracting-blue-tits/

Sprays/Treatments

Natural Sprays

There are loads of popular concoctions out there that are meant to treat all kinds of pest infestations including caterpillars but I have always found them a little disappointing, but you might as well try them, they might just work for you.

Soap Spray

Seemingly recommended for all ailments in the garden, dilute some dish soap into a spray bottle and spray it onto affected leaves.

Spray Bottles Can Make Covering Large Areas Much Easier
Spray Bottles Can Make Covering Large Areas Much Easier

The spray won’t kill the caterpillars but apparently, it makes the leaves sticky and not to the caterpillars liking so the thinking is they move on somewhere else.

Garlic Spray

Another homemade spray that seems to be recommended for everything is garlic spray, and sure enough, it pops up here too.

Crush some garlic cloves and leave them to sit in a spray bottle with some water for a week or two.

You can then spray this all over your nasturtiums and it should have a really strong garlic smell. Apparently, they really don’t like this smell and in theory, will move on.

Commercial But Organic Sprays

There are numerous bug sprays available that use rapeseed oil as their main ingredient so are actually organic and claim to not do any damage to other wildlife.

I am not sure how true this can really be if they are killing bugs then they must be fairly potent and who knows what this is doing down the line.

If you are out of ideas though and want to use a spray then these seem like the ones that will cause the least damage to other wildlife.

Neudorff BugFree Bug Killer is available on Amazon.

B.t Bacillus Thurningiensis

This is a naturally occurring bacteria that is already found in soil. This bacteria can actually kill caterpillars while being safe for other animals and wildlife as well as us humans.

It seems to be a bit harder to get hold of than a lot of other sprays but I have found a supplier here.