What to do about butterflies & caterpillars
Although prime for growing, the warmer months can also bring with them butterflies. Although beautiful, beware - these attractive assassins lay sneaky eggs under the leaves of many of our favourite leafy greens.
Check out this video to see how to tell if your plants are under attack from butterflies and caterpillars!
If butterflies and caterpillars are wreaking havoc with your plants, luckily there are some easy things we can do to keep them at bay.
There are 4 main ways to combat butterflies and moths from laying eggs (which turn into the cabbage worms), and also managing them if they are already feasting in your Airgarden.
1) Yates Natures Way Caterpillar Killer - Dipel Insecticide
This is a 100% natural and safe organic insecticide that you can buy from your local Bunnings. It is totally safe to use on all your edible plants. A few tips for using:
- Once a caterpillar eats treated foliage, it stops eating but may take up to 3-4 days to die and drop from the leaf.
- DO NOT spray when conditions are hot - the best time to apply is in late afternoon.
- Spray when caterpillars first appear.
- Spray both sides of all foliage.
- Respraying at 5 – 7 day intervals may be needed as more caterpillars hatch or under rainy conditions.
2. Cover your crops
You can purchase an Airgarden pest net through our website, which you can place over your Airgarden to protect your plants.
3. Plant smelly herbs to confuse them
Butterflies, believe it or not, have a keen sense of smell! So planting smelly herbs such as sage, dill and coriander will dissuade them from coming near your Airgarden in the first place.
4. Plant land cress (Barbarea Vulgaris) somewhere else nearby
This plant attracts the butterflies to lay their eggs, but when the caterpillars hatch they die from eating the leaves that are poisonous to them.
In summary, make sure during the warmer months you keep your eyes peeled, stay vigilant and have your defences at the ready! A little offence can keep the butterflies and their hungry offspring on the back foot.