Recognize parasites and infestations, defend yourself and treat plants
The caterpillar is a very voracious insect that loves cannabis plants, growers fear them because they are part of the most common plagues that can occur on a plantation. It is rare to find in indoor cultivations.
It is therefore fundamental in outdoor cultivation and in any case important in general: to recognise, prevent and eliminate this problem which could inevitably compromise all your work.
The Caterpillar is a Lepidoptera, specifically it is a Lepidoptera larva . The caterpillar is cylindrical and has a sectioned body, it has 3 pairs of legs and 5 pairs of pseudolegs (also called false legs). It is a tireless devourer and is capable of killing entire plants in a short time, it is the terror of growers.
The caterpillar is nothing more than the antechamber of a butterfly , being its larva, it is laid in the form of eggs by butterflies on the plant and when they open they give life to this very dangerous insect.
From the moment they are born they continuously feed on the plant on which they were born and do not stop until they reach the condition that allows them to become a chrysalis and from there a butterfly.
The color of the caterpillar can be different and non-uniform, usually those present on cannabis are green in colour, this makes them difficult to identify with a simple and often very careful check, which is why it is necessary to look for its presence by the symptoms that cause.
Symptoms of the presence of Caterpillars:
As mentioned before, simply checking the plant often does not highlight the presence of the caterpillar, which, being the same green colour, camouflages itself perfectly and becomes "invisible". A night check might be easier because they are more active anyway and with a flashlight you can make the check easier.
Spraying a pyrethrum solution would be the drastic solution because after a while they would all fall to the ground stunned, of course you need to remove them permanently once they fall.
Being essentially a butterfly and coming from butterfly eggs, it is very important to pay attention to their presence. If you see butterflies around your plants, try to get rid of them and check carefully because they may have laid eggs.
The eggs are very small and translucent yellowish in color and are usually on the back of the leaves.
Check for small black feces that the caterpillars leave along the way.
The most obvious signs of the presence of the caterpillar are the bites. As they are the nourishment of the caterpillar itself, the plant will have holes, real bites that are almost always evident in the leaves. If you see bites it is very likely that there are caterpillars in your plant. Intervene immediately because this problem seriously damages your plant and can even cause its death.
If you see darker spots on the tips or signs of rot, check the tops of the plant carefully, the caterpillar can enter there too. This signal is alarming because if action is not taken immediately it is possible to totally compromise the harvest. Furthermore, the feces that the caterpillar leaves as it passes by can be preparatory to the formation of fungi such as botrytis, which is harmful to cultivation.
How to intervene to eliminate the caterpillar problem?
- Once the presence of the caterpillar has been verified, the first intervention and their identification and removal :
- Get some gloves and patiently examine your plant meticulously looking for them and removing them systematically.
- Use a spray bottle with a solution of garlic and chili pepper or pyrethrum.
- Place antagonistic insects, it is always the best method even if the most complicated to use, in this specific case you should insert the Trichogramma wasps and the Podisus maculiventris.
What if the caterpillar appears in the harvest phase?
However, if there are some specimens left in your plants, the moment you collect them and leave them to dry, the caterpillar will lose interest and migrate in other directions in search of plant matter. Check carefully because they could nest in the most remote places and compromise your next harvest.