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Pests & Diseases > Caterpillars

Cause

Caterpillars come in many varieties with different feeding and living habits. They can appear at any time but their numbers build up from March onwards. 

Loopers stand up on the stems pretending to be other stems. They also rely on colour to prevent detection. They will be red brown to look like the stem of a River red gum or green to match the leaf. 

Some caterpillars fold and stick leaves together and shelter there during the day 


Prevention

Check the seedlings regularly. Watch for moths or butterflies which indicate presence of larvae. Ensure sufficient ventilation and moisture for the plants. Healthy plants are less likely to be attacked. Be diligent – look at your seedlings closely daily. A problem that begins with a few nibbled leaves one day can be a devastated crop the next. These little larvae are ravenous!! 

Cure

Remove by hand and dispose of them or spray with a contact substance. If the infestation is severe then Carbaryl may be used. Discourage munching with a garlic spray.

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