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Will the Monsoon Rains Call Caterpillars to Your Garden?

Eco-Friendly Tips for Dealing with Caterpillars
It is September in Arizona, and that means the monsoon season. With fall rains on the way, it is time to start thinking about a nuisance that will soon start making its way to your garden if you do not take the necessary precautions: caterpillars. While you know you can always rely on us here at Green Home Pest to take care of the caterpillar problems you will face this season, here are some eco-friendly tips to help you keep caterpillars at bay in the meantime:

Use cardboard to block off the area around your plants.

green home pest controlAs caterpillars get their fill of the green desert plants that emerge this season, they will start to migrate into more developed areas. You can create a natural, compostable barrier to ensure that they do not enter your garden areas or climb up your plants. Use cardboard pieces to border the base of your individual plants or use it to border your entire garden area. You can rely on this method to deter most caterpillars from climbing up your plants in the first place as they make their way in from the desert toward your doorstep.
Protect your plants as they grow.

Some caterpillar infestations arise from moths laying eggs on your plants. When the eggs hatch, the caterpillars that emerge eat this host plant for food. This will leave your plants looking a bit like Swiss cheese, with holes and tears throughout the leaves. Prevention here is the key. Most vegetables such as squash or pumpkin do not require pollination, so you can feel good about covering them with cloth that still allows for sunlight and growth. Prevent moths from laying their eggs on your prized plants with loose, mesh cloth. This will not affect the growth of the plant, but it will keep the moths away, preventing your caterpillar problem from starting.
Use natural, eco-friendly sprays or additives.

green home pest controlHot peppers are natural insect repellants. This tip is especially handy if you happen to be growing your own peppers already. You can boil them in water to make a hot-pepper spray. Boil 3-5 hot peppers of any variety in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes. Allow the water to cool. Pour the water into a spray bottle and spray onto your plants. Another great natural and environmentally-sound insect repellant is the kitchen spice turmeric. Use ground turmeric in the soil around your plants to repel caterpillars.
Make your garden do double-duty.

Who doesn’t love the scent of fresh lavender? The essential oils in lavender are known for being relaxing and calming, but did you know that they also deter pests such as caterpillars? Grow lavender in or near your plants for a caterpillar deterrent that will add to the serenity and peace of your beautiful garden. Because temperatures here in Arizona get very hot, it is a good idea to keep your lavender in well-draining pots and to water them daily when temperatures exceed 90o F.

caterpillar-pest-300x201Caterpillars will most certainly be finding their way to your area this rainy season. However, they do not have to wreak havoc on your hard work. Take these steps to prevent and treat any caterpillar infestations you come across, and then call Green Home Pest. We will provide you with a free estimate to help you determine the safest, most environmentally-friendly, and hassle-free method to take care of caterpillars this season.

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