How To Get Rid Of Caterpillars? 10 Natural Methods

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Real Men Sow

You were wrong if you thought that a caterpillar was not a threat to your garden. Although they may look cute, caterpillars can actually be a threat to your garden. They will transform into butterflies and destroy entire plants looking for energy. Thus, this post will share how to get rid of caterpillars with 10 natural methods.Caterpillar

Why Should You Get Rid Of Caterpillars In Gardens?

One caterpillar can multiply exponentially within a week and eat all your plants. Even worse, if you neglect to check your garden on a daily basis, you may not see the damage to your tomatoes, cabbage, and other plants until it’s too late.

What can you do to eliminate these pests before they take over your entire plant? Here are 10 natural ways to get rid of your annoying caterpillar problem.

Does soapy water kill caterpillars?

Mixing organic sprays is one of the first steps to get rid of caterpillars before we get to the details. When spraying any plant, it is a good idea to spray a small area first and leave it for a few days. Spray the rest of your plant if everything looks good and has not been damaged.

How To Get Rid Of Caterpillars Organically? 

Spray plants with soap and water

Use regular soap and water, start by dissolving organic liquid soap in warm water and then spray it onto the plants. This will make it slippery, so they won’t want to walk on it or eat it. It won’t cause any harm to them. They will just have to find other food sources.

Bacillus thuringiensis 

This is a natural bacteria found in your soil. It contains a protein that is extremely toxic to caterpillars and other soft pests. It will paralyze their digestive systems and force them to stop eating. Although it is toxic to caterpillars and other good insects, it is safe for humans, animals, and good insects. It can be used in your garden along with produce, so wash it before you eat.

Note: Bacillus Thuringiensis should be organically labelled by the Organic Materials Research Institute.

Make Garlic and Pepper Spray

A potent combination can be made for both dinner and for pest control. Mix 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes, 1 whole onion-minced and 1 teaspoon soap in a blender. Add 1 gallon of water. Allow the mixture to sit for 24 hours to allow it to bond with each other. You can then fill a spray container and attack any hungry caterpillars.

Note: This mixture is effective against worms and aphids. You can make large batches of the mixture and keep it in your freezer for pest problems later in the season.

Make Chili Spray

To prevent them from coming back, you can also make a chilli spray using a similar recipe. Boil 1/2 gallon water and 3.5 ounces dried, ground chilli on the stove for five minutes. Mix 1/2 gallon cold water with three drops of organic liquid soap. Allow the mixture to cool down for a few moments before stirring it again.

Note: You should also run a test. You can place a few leaves on the affected plants. You can then fill a spray container and apply the spray to the affected plants as necessary.

Make your spray using vinegar

Vinegar is a natural repellant for many pests, including caterpillars. You will need a mixture of 4 litres of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Spray it on affected plants to repel caterpillars.

Note: Spray vinegar directly on any snails or slugs to kill them.

Use Neem oil with Care

The natural pesticide Neem oil is used to repel caterpillars as well as other tomato worms such as the horned. You should not use large amounts of this oil as it can be harmful to beneficial insects. You can do this by diluting a small amount of neem oils, not more than 2 ounces, in a gallon of water. It is best to mix it thoroughly and then apply it to the affected area in the afternoon.

Grow Plants for the Caterpillars

You can also introduce caterpillar-resistant plants to birds, just as you can do with birds. These plants include lavender, mugwort, and peppermint. These plants will repel caterpillars and it would provide you with the pleasure of deliciously smelling plants that can be used in cooking.


Burlap can be wrapped around your trunks and caterpillars will find shade under it during the hot days. You can trap large numbers of caterpillars by wrapping them in burlap. Once they have been hidden, you can either move them or kill them.

Cover plants with fine mesh netting

You can also cover your plants with thin mesh to stop caterpillars getting on them, or even more importantly, to stop butterflies from laying eggs on your plants. The cover prevents insects from coming into direct contact with your plants, eating them, and laying eggs that will be fertile for more caterpillars.

Encourage Birds into Your Garden To Get Rid Of Caterpillars

You can also add a natural predator to the mix. Caterpillars are eaten by birds, so place a birdhouse or bird feeder near affected plants to let birds naturally reduce your caterpillar population. You can also bring chickens to your garden. They can wander around and eat the caterpillars.

Note: Avoid this method if you have a caterpillar problem on your fruit trees. It will attract more birds to your fruit.


Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.