Outdoor Growing: Caterpillars


‘Tis the season for excellent questions about the perils of critters in outdoor growing! Check out Ask Tropical420’s latest Q & A :tropical2: :grow:

Dear Tropical420, I am a first time grower, and have a few kush plants that I am working with. It seems EVERYTHING wants to eat my plants! Now that they have buds (expecting to harvest next month) I am concerned about using any pesticides, although I have been told that BT is alright to use. It’s mostly caterpillars, extremely voracious caterpillars. Can I use the BT,and is it alright to get the buds wet? I have already lost one plant to mold and can’t afford to lose any more! Plus,regarding mold – I tossed the entire plant, but now wondering if I could have kept the buds if they were still good. The mold was coming up from the bottom of the plant,and it freaked me out.Thanks for any advice you can give me,

High Mamasue! :compwave:

Thank you so much for asking me this GREAT question! Growing Kush is one of the hardest plants to grow right even for advanced growers so kudos to you for trying a tough strain on your first grow! An outdoor harvest in about a month (end of October) is right on target so you planted them at exactly the right time! I also had caterpillars eating my first outdoor grow and even harvested with them in it – they were the same green color as the buds so it was hard to find all of them and the worst part is they eat the plant and then they also poop in it! Needless to say, the buds in my first outdoor grow were unusable.

I am also wary of using the BT ( Bacillus Thuringiensis ) pesticide even though it is a naturally occuring pesticide but you can try SaferBrand Caterpillar Killer with BT mixed with some water should be okay to use at this stage but not any further into flowering. Be careful not to get the buds too wet as that can create mold – best to spray during sunlight hours so it can dry naturally. Ladybugs are one of my fav organic pesticides for spider mites and neem oil works well against powdery white mold. Caterpillars are one of the hardest things to get rid of – The key to controlling them is to stop them before they start. The white butterfly is the first big sign of any caterpillers in the garden. If you see the butterfly, they are already there. :butterfly:

BT powder at the base of the plant will stop the next infestation. Caterpillars come in two hatching cycles, so if you are in the first one, sprinkle some BT at the base of the plants and when the next wave pulpates and comes up, they will eat the BT and die before they eat the buds. If its already the second wave, no way to really tell unless you noticed the gap in destruction or sightings after the first wave was eliminated. Then all you can do is go through the plant and manually pull them out.

It usually takes growers 2-4 first time grows before they really fine tune the process and produce connoisseur quality top shelf medical marijuana. A good rule of thumb is the mold you can’t see is more dangerous then the mold you can see. You were right to get rid of your moldy plant since the mold was inside the stalk then it is inside the buds even if you can’t see it. In the future you can plant the plants in pots that stay above the ground outdoors making it harder for critters to get into it and use Diatomaceous Earth in your soil which acts as tiny razors to critters. :grow:

Hope this helps!! :hug: :bongrip: :glitterleaf:























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