How to get rid of the geranium worm

The geranium is a plant that, with just a few basic cares, grows and blooms that is a pleasure to see. However, he has a potential enemy who can, in the worst case, finish him off. Its scientific name is Cacyreus marshalli , although it is better known by the names of geranium worm or geranium borer.

This insect is a butterfly that measures about 2cm that lays its eggs in the flower buds so that its larvae complete their cycle by feeding on the stems of the plant. But can anything be done to control it?


  • 1 Learn to distinguish it
  • 2 What damage do they cause?
  • 3 Geranium Butterfly Control

learn to tell it apart

Cacyreus marshalli larva

Geranium butterfly larva (Cacyreus marshalli).

The geranium butterfly is an insect native to Africa. It arrived in Spain in 1987, entering through the island of Mallorca, through a cutting that was infested with eggs or larvae. From there it spread throughout the country causing very serious damage, since although it has natural enemies in its place of origin, none have been found here yet, so the plague does nothing but spread.

In the adult phase it is a butterfly that measures about 2cm, which causes damage by laying its eggs on the geraniums. The caterpillars, on the other hand, are light green as you can see in the image above, hairy, and they are the ones that begin to weaken the plants . The chrysalises, also hairy, are dark green, turning brown one or two days before becoming adults.

What damage do they cause?

It is a pest that acts very fast, so many times when we see the first symptoms the plant will need a good pruning to fully recover. The larvae eat and empty the stems, piercing them. As a consequence, the weakening of the plant is rapid, and the leaves wither in a matter of days .

Can anything be done? Fortunately, yes.

Geranium Butterfly Control

geranium flowers

This is what you can do to keep your geraniums healthy throughout the year:

  • Treat once a week with 10% Cypermethrin , spraying the plant (early in the morning or at night) and watering the substrate. It can serve both as preventive and curative.
  • If you prefer to use natural remedies, you can make preventive treatments with natural pyrethrins applied with a wetting agent (such as potassium soap , for example) every 3-4 days during the warmer months.
  • Before buying, it inspects well all parts of the plant , especially the stems. If you see holes in them, wilted leaves, or anything else you don’t like, don’t buy it, otherwise it could spread it to your other geraniums.
  • Fertilize and water regularly to keep it healthy.
  • In the event that it is already infested, cut the affected stems .

With these tips, your geranium will surely grow without problems

How to get rid of the geranium worm

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