Fern Caterpillar Prevention

Q: I have Boston ferns on my front porch every summer. In the middle of the summer I get fern caterpillars. Do you have any suggestions to prevent them?

A: These caterpillars come from eggs laid on the fern by a moth while the fern was being grown in Florida. The eggs are difficult to spot but the caterpillars can quickly strip the foliage off of a Boston fern. Get relief by spraying each fern, when purchased and in mid-June, with a product that contains Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.). This product is specific for caterpillar control and is considered very safe.

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