Updated: August 19, 2022

If you’re a coffee grower, you know that caterpillars can be a big problem for your plants. These pests can eat away at the leaves and harm the growth of your coffee plants. However, there are ways to get rid of caterpillars on coffee plants without harming the plant itself. In this article, we’ll discuss some effective methods for getting rid of caterpillars on coffee plants.

Identify the Type of Caterpillar

Before you start trying to get rid of caterpillars on your coffee plants, it’s important to identify the type of caterpillar you’re dealing with. Different types of caterpillars require different treatments.

One common type of caterpillar that attacks coffee plants is the coffee berry borer. These small, reddish-brown beetles lay their eggs inside coffee berries, where the larvae feed on the coffee beans. To get rid of this type of caterpillar, you’ll need to remove and destroy any infected berries.

Use Natural Predators

One effective way to get rid of caterpillars on coffee plants is to introduce natural predators that will eat them. Ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps are all natural predators that will feed on caterpillars.

You can attract these predators to your garden by planting flowers that they like, such as marigolds and daisies. You can also buy ladybugs and lacewings from gardening stores and release them into your garden.

Manual Removal

If you only have a few caterpillars on your coffee plants, you can remove them manually. Wear gloves and simply pick the caterpillars off the plant and dispose of them in a sealed container or bag.

Make sure you check all parts of the plant – including the undersides of leaves – for any caterpillars that might be hiding.

Using Pesticides

If natural predators and manual removal aren’t effective, you can consider using pesticides to get rid of caterpillars on your coffee plants. However, it’s important to choose a pesticide that is safe for coffee plants and won’t harm the environment.

Some effective pesticides include insecticidal soaps, neem oil, and pyrethrin. Make sure you read the label carefully before using any pesticide, and follow the instructions for application.

Preventative Measures

Preventing caterpillars from infesting your coffee plants in the first place is always better than trying to get rid of them once they’ve already taken hold. Here are some preventative measures you can take:

  • Keep your garden clean and tidy to avoid attracting pests.
  • Use mulch to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from growing.
  • Remove any infected berries or damaged leaves as soon as you notice them.
  • Use yellow sticky traps to catch adult coffee berry borers before they lay their eggs.

By taking these preventative measures, you can help keep your coffee plants healthy and free from caterpillar infestations.


Are there any natural remedies for getting rid of caterpillars on coffee plants?

Yes, introducing natural predators like ladybugs and lacewings, or using neem oil or insecticidal soap can be effective.

Can pesticides harm coffee plants?

Yes, certain pesticides can harm coffee plants if not used properly. Make sure you read the label carefully before applying any pesticide.

How can I tell if my coffee plant has a caterpillar infestation?

Look for holes in the leaves, discolored or damaged berries, or any visible caterpillars on the plant.