I have some Johnston seedless grape vines and I am starting to notice caterpillars that I believe are Grapeleaf Skeletonizer. Can someone suggest an organic means of ridding them from my vines? I have small children and just prefer to not use chemical pesticides.

Here is a photo of what they look like

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Hand-picking is always an option, and can get the children involved - as is brushing them into a bucket of hot soapy water (which also works for a thing to pick them into.)

I'm not intimately familiar with that particular pest (mostly the darn Japanese Beetles do the destruction on my grape leaves) so I won't venture into recommending organic pesticides (which are organic, but many are not all that nice or safe around children despite that, really - they are just natural poisons.) I'm not sure which ones might be most effective on that pest.

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  • I actually have the grape vines surrounded by chicken wire so the birds do not fly in and take all my grapes, still training them to grow up and not out. So an Organic pesticide would be fine for me because the wire also keeps out the half persons too. My naive thought is that organics will soak & absorb into the environment better and not linger around for my kids to ingest like corporate chemicals do. And I have been clipping the destroyed leaves and doing it by hand too. Just wandering if there is a lazy mans solution :) – Brian H May 13 '15 at 18:37
  • Could be the birds would help with your caterpillars if you gave them access up until there are grapes to worry about.... – Ecnerwal May 13 '15 at 20:38
  • There are grapes to worry about :) and they are just now at full size and going purple too. – Brian H May 14 '15 at 3:15

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