Battle of the pests-Cabbageworms

This year was my very first year dealing with these little monsters!  I've never tried growing Kale, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts or Kohlrabi before.  These types of plants are VERY susceptible to attacks from Cabbageworms.  They will actually attack almost any type of brassica plant.
Amusingly enough, around mid summer I noticed these lovely little white butterflies with little black circles on their wings.  I even commented on how pretty they were as they flitted from plant to plant.  We had loads of them in the backyard!  How lovely! 
UHHHH YEAH right!  Once I discovered what those lovely butterflies were they didn't look so lovely. 

Those almost completely killed my brussel sprouts, they did kill two kohlrabi plants, and thoroughly munched on my Red Russian Kale!

CabbageWorms/CabbageLooper

  • Bacillus Thuringiensis: This I have found is the most successful way to get rid of these pests.  It's quick and efficient.  Once I discovered what was going on with my plants I purchased some, sprinkled it on the affected plants and within three days the worms were gone.  Just apply once a week until you have noticed that the butterflies and worms have died off and you're good.  Now a days I re-apply when I notice either more cabbageworms or the Cabbage White butterflies. 
  • Pick them off: Like hornworms, this is a pretty efficient way of taking care of these however since the plants in question are most pretty low to the ground it can really make your back sore as you're leaning over for quite some time moving leaves around.  We just pick them off and throw them either into the middle of the yard for any bird that wanders by or I give them to my son so he can squash it.  He says he doesn't like to squash these as much because "they're not as juicy".  Yes, my son is getting into that "ooh that's disgusting! How cool!" stage.  When you're on the hunt, the best thing to do is look for any chewed leaves.  Also they do tend to leave droppings on other leaves so that's another hint for you.  Make sure to also look under the leaves.  They hide out a lot under there! 
Big tip.  If you decide to grow any of the plants in the Brassica family purchase some BT ahead of time.  Otherwise you'll be in the same boat as me. 

Popular posts from this blog

Somethings a'buzz in our backyard Honeybees in Alaska

Planning out our 2017 Alaskan garden

An argument for soil testing