Caterpillars love marijuana plants! Corn Borer and Hemp Borer are the two most destructive caterpillars. These pests will diminish the strength of your plant by eating away at the marrow inside the stalk causing stem cankers to form. If the plant is really infested it will break down.
Signs of caterpillars
All it takes is about five to ten caterpillars to demolish your plant. You can easily identity their damage by the chew marks left on the leaves. Observe the plants stems to see if there are holes with brown trails around them. If you notice visible holes on your plant, then you most likely have a problem.
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What’s even worse is that the hole Corn Borers carve into the stems creates an open doorway for other pests that will completely suck the life out of your marijuana plants. Hemp Borers will damage the buds (see picture).
Stem boring caterpillars do their damage from the inside of the plant so, they can go undetected until it’s too late and the harm is done.
How to get rid of caterpillars
You can simply rely on nature to eradicate caterpillars by having parasitic wasps around. Mostly likely they will come all on their own as soon as the sense caterpillars are nearby. These wasps will lay eggs on the caterpillar’s body and when they hatch, the caterpillar becomes food for them.
Another way nature can assist you with this is the praying mantis. These insects love eating caterpillars and will remain until all of them are fully devoured.
When it comes to stem borers the only way to really get rid of them is to cut them out of the plant. If the plant doesn’t revive itself, then completely remove it by doing a clean cut at the bottom of the train. This will guarantee no further damage.
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Neem oil spray is excellent for caterpillar control. Use this once the sun has gone down or on an overcast day. The sun will make the solution useless. Spraying the tops and base of the plants. Don’t overdo it, just cover it really good.
Making your own neem oil spray is easy, just pour 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons liquid dish soap into one gallon of warm water. Pour in one ounce of neem oil and shake well. This concoction will lose its strength after 4-8 hours, so it’s pointless to keep what you don’t use. Do this once a week until all caterpillars are gone. You can buy neem oil at a nearby garden center or get it online at this link here.
List of marijuana plant symptoms
- Holes with brown trails around them
- Chew marks on the leaves
- Yellowing on the top leaves
- Holes and damage to the stems
Remember caterpillars are marijuana lovers! If you see any signs of these, you definitely want to do something about it immediately. These pests will destroy and potentially suck all the life out of your plant.
Plants with strong genetics have less chances of getting sick and are less vulnerable to pests and diseases. Make sure you buy weed seeds from a trusted seed bank.
FAQs About Caterpillars on Cannabis Plants
Having parasitic wasps or a praying mantis around the plant, cutting the affected stems, or spraying with neem oil are some effective ways to deal with caterpillars on your weed plants.
All it takes is about five to ten caterpillars to demolish your plant.
Some of the most common caterpillar symptoms include chew marks on the leaves, holes and damage to the stems, and yellowing on the top leaves.
Have you had caterpillars on your marijuana plants? Please share your experience or leave questions in the comments.