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Location is India.

My grandmother takes care of 50+ plants in the garden and is recently facing a problem.

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Some kind of caterpillar is eating the leaves, 'sewing' them like the above image and closing them off.

enter image description here

We are really not able to do anything successfully. We've tried neem oil, turmeric + camphor, carbendazim fungicide (SAAF) and fermented starch water, but nothing has helped.

This caterpillar is affecting our Tabernaemontana divaricata (or nandhiyaavattai as we call it in Tamil) much. Worse, it is spreading to all our hibiscus plants and is starting to do the same.

  1. What exactly is this caterpillar? Why does it do like this?
  2. What can be done for this?
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  • Neem should have worked, but soapy water will not be tasty for your new friends. Dec 26, 2023 at 14:28
  • We did try - but they are more of a cure than a preventive measure. They work for some 1 month or so - after which they unleashed their hegemony again. Dec 26, 2023 at 14:55
  • Need to spray weekly, but it's cheap and nontoxic. Plus, caterpillars are not year-round as they move on to butterfly and moth. Dec 26, 2023 at 15:01
  • And what exactly is this species? I have not got any clues yet, except for the fact that it is approx. 3cm long with a yellow head and bluish green in colour. Google Lens also did not help. Dec 26, 2023 at 15:04
  • Not a Monarch caterpillar, maybe Tiger Moth or Luna Moth. Dec 26, 2023 at 15:32

2 Answers 2

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If you think that the plant in concern here is a non-edible one and doesn't bears you fruits of harvest as also, if you're open to trying measures of chemical control, opt for cheap Chlorpyriphos based insecticide it is available at almost also agricultural equipment stores from your area. If it is a horticultural/ fruit plant then try applying Cypermethrin (local pesticide name: Raider).

Alternatively, you can prefer to leave them alone, they turn into beautiful butterflies which can in turn be great pollinators for your plant.

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A general application of BT ( bacillus thurgensis ?) will fix it.

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    Hi blacksmith37, this could be another of your great answers if you provided more details about what is BT, application rates, what it will work on....
    – kevinskio
    Jan 1 at 1:26

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