Updated: May 14, 2022

Green onions are a staple in many households, but unfortunately, they can also attract unwanted visitors: caterpillars. These little pests can quickly destroy a green onion plant if left unchecked. In this article, we will discuss how to identify caterpillars on green onion plants and provide effective methods for getting rid of them.

Identifying Caterpillars on Green Onion Plants

Caterpillars are the larval form of moths and butterflies. They have long, cylindrical bodies with segmented sections and several pairs of legs. Caterpillars generally range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters long.

If you notice small holes in the leaves of your green onion plant, it’s a sign that caterpillars may be present. Another indication is if you see small black droppings on the leaves or around the base of the plant. You may also see the caterpillars themselves, which can be green, yellow, or brown.

Methods for Getting Rid of Caterpillars

  1. Handpicking: One of the most effective ways to get rid of caterpillars is by handpicking them off the plant. Wear gloves to protect your hands and carefully remove any caterpillars you see on the leaves or stems.

  2. Neem Oil: Neem oil is an organic insecticide that can help control caterpillar populations. Mix one tablespoon of neem oil with one quart of water and spray it onto the leaves and stems of your green onion plant.

  3. Bacillus Thuringiensis: Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacteria that specifically targets caterpillars. It’s available in a powder form that can be mixed with water and sprayed onto the plant.

  4. Companion Planting: Planting herbs like basil or mint near your green onion plant can help repel caterpillars.

  5. Insect Netting: Covering your green onion plant with insect netting can prevent caterpillars from accessing the plant.


Can caterpillars harm humans?

Caterpillars are generally harmless to humans, but some can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions if touched.

How do I prevent caterpillars from coming back?

Regularly inspect your green onion plants for signs of caterpillars and take preventative measures like companion planting or using insect netting.

Are there any natural predators of caterpillars?

Birds, wasps, and certain types of beetles are natural predators of caterpillars.

Can I still eat my green onions if they have had caterpillars on them?

Yes, you can still eat the green onions if you remove the affected leaves and thoroughly wash the remaining plant parts.