Early in season I check my seedlings 3-4 times a day looking for caterpillars , first you look for damaged plants . Then look and feel carefully for the caterpillars , hand pick and crush.
I sow seeds on or about October 1st every year . I check the seedlings frequently for caterpillars, If you check 3-4 times a day and become familiar with the plants its easier to spot damage and caterpillars. In General that is one of the most important parts of growing , walking your field a couple times a day and checking your seedling. The Idea is catch a problem early , and problem solve . Farming for me is more of a life style than a job, I enjoy working out side ,and being productive . As the season progresses and we get real cold fronts I see less caterpillars and insects are less active . I've found that properly spacing plants and mixing flowers, herbs and vegetables also helps control insect damage .