Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies, moths and other winged insects, and can inflict a great deal of damage by chewing holes in leaves, stems, flowers and fruits. The most notorious is the caterpillar of the cabbage white butterfly, but there are many others, such as winter moth caterpillars, webber moth caterpillars and tortrix moth caterpillars.


Caterpillars usually occur singly or in small numbers, so can be removed individually. There is also an organically acceptable bacterial control, Bacillus thuringiensis, which only harms caterpillars. Alternatively, caterpillars may be prevented from climbing up stems by using greasebands or sticky grease. For serious infestations, apply pirimiphos-methyl or carbaryl.