In this article we will know one of the most destructive plagues that attack the marijuana: The caterpillars, larvae or worms. These bugs are family of the Lepidoptera, commonly known as butterflies when they finish their transformation. When being able to fly they are able to deposit their eggs in the highest zones of the plant, coinciding with the greater buds. We recommend using carbon filter grow box. The eggs will remain dormant until the climatic conditions are ideal, coinciding in time with the end of the flowering of our marijuana plants.
There are many types of caterpillars, larvae or worms, all equally harmful. Normally in Spain we find them of green color camouflaging itself between the head and making more difficult its early detection. Caterpillars are true gobblers of plant matter, they only do that, eat and defecate where they go. And they are not stupid, they always go to the biggest and fattest buds, which is where most of the sap runs. In addition, with their mouthfuls and feces they infect the plant and favor the appearance of botrytis in the buds, leaving them useless. In these cases the best thing is to cut and clean that tip so that the infection does not spread to other healthy buds.
How can I prevent caterpillars, larvae or worms?
Prevention is always key so that insects do not install themselves in your marijuana plants and the caterpillar is another example. If we prevent by spraying our plants every 2 weeks with a neem oil like Azadirachtin, we will keep the bugs and eggs that we might have at bay, being much more difficult for any pest to install itself on us.
Given the voracity of the caterpillars and the great damage they cause, prevention is our best ally without a doubt. Don’t wait to see the worm or the damage, because it will be too late and it will have ruined your best points.
Even though we have treated our plant for several months with some preventive products such as neem oil, it becomes almost mandatory to start preventing the caterpillar with some product based on Bacillus thuringiensis such as Probelte’s Belthirul. Bacillus thuringiensis are actually tiny bacteria that when ingested by the worms cause them to fail in the digestive system and quickly lead to death. This insecticide for caterpillars, larvae and worms is the most effective to fight caterpillars definitively, besides it is natural and has no safety period before cutting.
To prevent the appearance of caterpillars, larvae or worms, spray with Belthirul or another product with Bacillus thuringiensis once every 15 days from the beginning of flowering.
How to identify a caterpillar infestation?
If you see one, there are probably more. It becomes complicated to see the caterpillars in our marijuana plants visually because they are usually green and camouflage very well among the foliage of our plants. We will notice that something is not right when we start to see pieces of bud with darker hairs than the rest of the bud or other buds. This is due to the fact that the worm has passed through there, nibbling and infecting that part of the bud that little by little will spread.
What damage do caterpillars, worms or larvae do?
Unfortunately, the damage caused by these worms is very great. They eat flowers and leaves and suck the sap from the stems infecting the plant with their bacteria and generating fungus in the buds (Botrytis). As we have already said, they always go to the biggest tips, where more sap runs off the plant. To spoil these tips completely will diminish and much the final production of our culture. Moreover, although it is a pity, we must heal the damages so that they do not spread and end up bothering us more than half of the plant.
How to fight and eliminate the caterpillars?
As we have already advanced the best remedy against this type of caterpillars, larvae or worms are the insecticides with Bacillus thuringiensis such as Probelte’s Belthirul, which has a great concentration of these Bacillus of the kurstaki variety, the best against caterpillars and larvae. It should be applied via foliar (sprayed) throughout the plant.
In preventive methods should be used a spraying every 15 days. But if you already have the plague and it is to fight it, you can spray the insecticide every 3-4 days for 2 weeks. The caterpillars that you see are very large, eliminate them manually, but do not be too confident and repeat the treatment to eliminate possible eggs and new ones that might have hatched.
Do you need to use stronger chemical insecticides to make sure you get rid of them?
In my experience, no. Products with Bacillus thurirgensis are very effective against caterpillars, larvae and worms, and it is not necessary to resort to other more aggressive products for your plant and the environment.