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Learn what they are here. Unfortunately, there are a number of pests of mountain laurel that you will have to contend with. So, yes this affects the bloom cycle. Exploring how to get rid of caterpillars is an interesting study. Identification. Caterpillars can pose a conundrum for gardeners. Sincerely, David Rodriguez -Extension Horticulturist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Bexar County The only natural enemies I've seen (besides my fingers) have been fire ants and assassin bugs. The pests that affect mountain laurels are tiny insects that can cause severe damage to the mountain laurels if not treated immediately. The two common insects that I get questions about are the Red Mountain Laurel Mirid (mirids are plant bugs) and the Genista caterpillar. The cats are a major pest for Texas Mountain Laurels--they can defoliate a tree if left unchecked. About Caterpillars in the Garden. They also feed on mountain laurel and other bushes and trees in favorable environmental conditions. Red mountain laurel mirids, Lopidea major, are quite stunning. Adult genista moths are triangular, light brown, and only about an 1/2-inch long. DE will not work. mountain laurels. Is there a home remedy to get rid of them? The caterpillars eat new foliage, buds, shoots and new leaves. Here a few facts about the offending insects and tips on how to revive your mountain laurels. Birds don't eat them because of the alkaloids they absorb from the plants. These caterpillars become a brown night-flying moth. Mountain laurel is getting infested with tent caterpillar worms. For tent caterpillars, drop the nest into a bucket of soapy water where they’ll suffocate. They are smallish, flattened, oval-shaped bugs that are a striking red and black. They are unlikely to return, as long as you move them far enough away. Many gardeners have a love-hate relationship with caterpillars. How to Get Rid of Caterpillars Without Pesticides on Plants. We want to prevent caterpillars from ruining our vegetables and munching on our perfect leaves and it’s not always easy to see them, so controlling caterpillars can be a challenge. Always read and follow label instructions. An easy way to get rid of gypsy moth larvae, bagworms, armyworms, and other insect larvae is to remove them all by hand and either squish them or place them elsewhere in your yard. Hello, The caterpillars are eating all the new growth where potential flower buds emerge from. Mountain laurel is a pretty flowering shrub that zone 5 through 9 gardeners like to use for screening, borders, and other yard elements. Is there a home remedy to get rid of them? Answered by shelley on May 3, 2015 Certified Expert Liquid Bt, Spinosad and SEVIN work affectively on caterpillar control. The tents and bags they spin serve as shelter while they feed. If your Mountain Laurel shrubs are infected by pests and you don’t know how to repair and manage the problem, read on. 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