Why would you want to get rid of a caterpillar?  After all, caterpillars are fuzzy and turn into
butterflies.  What harm could they do?  Well, plenty!  Caterpillars are the larve of moths and butterflies.  
Caterpeillars eat after they emerge from their cocoon.  And they eat.  And they eat some more.  
Caterpillars can (and will) eat your vegetables, your flowers and your trees.  A large tree can be
completely defoliated by a large caterpillar infestation.  Luckily, there are a number of ways to get rid of
caterpillars safely and organically.
BT
Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) is a bateria that lives in the
soil.  It is completely safe for humans and pets.  In fact,
the only thing that BT harms is caterpillars so other
garden wildlife like birds and beneficial insects are safe.  
Caterpillars, on the other hand, will die within hours of eating BT.   Products containing BT
have been sold for over 80 years and it is considered the standard product for getting rid of
caterpillars.  Simply spray the affected areas until the plant or tree is dripping wet.  
Remember to spray under leaves too.  The caterpillar must eat the BT for it to be effective.
You Can Get Rid of Bagworms
Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to get rid of bagworms.  Pesticides will work if you see indications of bagworms
in early summer.  This is not the easiest thing to do because they are very small.   Once bagworms become large
enough to see, a large infestation can do serious damage and pesticides are ineffective.  At that point, it is best to
spray products containing Bt.  But the best way to get rid of bagworms is to manually pick or cut them out of the
trees, and then drown them.  You may be in for some back-breaking, time-consuming insect control in your fight
against bagworms.  Good luck!
Wacking Caterpillars
Caterpillar tree tents are a sure sign of caterperpillar infestation.  Luckily, they are very
visible and easily dislodged.  Wack the heck of these tree tents using a rake or a stick of
wood.  You can be very aggressive.  Unlike hornets, caterpillar cocoons do not fly out of
their home in attack mode.  In some parts of the world caterpillar tent-wacking is
considered to be a contemplative activity with great therapeutic powers.  
Inviting birds to your backyard with a bird feeder or
a bird bath can bring many joys.  One of the benefits
birds bring is their love of eating caterpillars.  Birds
will dramatically reduce caterpillar populations while
bringing you some lovely warbling.
Get Rid of Caterpillars        
Pick Up, Then Squish
Caterpillars are notoriously slow
movers, making them easy targets to
simply pick them up and squish under your
heel.  You should not pick up caterpillars
with an unprotected hand because their
stings are mildly irritating.  Never squish a
caterpillar with a naked hand.
Invite Some Birds Over
Make sure you completely and
thoroughly get rid of the caterpillars by
drowning them in soapy water or, if you
are up for the action, burning them.  
Simply dropping their tent to the ground
will not kill caterpillars.
Diposing of Caterpillars
Wrapping a sticky insect strip around the trunk of
a tree will stop caterpillars from crawling up from
the ground and getting into their sumptious leaf
buffet.  You can do this yourself or purchase
products online or in any home and garden center.
Tree Defense
Sites and Blogs about Caterpillars
Hornet blogs are a great source of informations.  Some of our favorites are How Stuff Works, Get Rid of Things , eHow, Gardening Know How, Wiki Answers
and
Wikipedia.
There are several chemical pesticides
that work very effectively to get rid of
caterpillars.  However, pesticides should
because their toxins create detrimental
because their toxins create detrimental
effects to your yard.  They may be
necessary in extreme cases and can be
purchased almost anywhere.
Pesticides
You can easily find caterpillar egg masses during the winter months.  They are large enough
to spot on tree trunks and branches.  Cut them off the tree and destroy and your caterpillar
problem will be nipped in the bud.
Caterpillar Eggs
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