Cabbage Worms

cabbage wormsLatin name: Pieris rapae

Size: About an inch

Color(s): Green

Life Cycle: The white cabbage butterfly lays its eggs on host plants in the Brassica family. The eggs hatch into these green inchworms (see photo) which, in short order, make the leaves of these plants look like Swiss cheese. They’ll also get into the heads of broccoli and cauliflower.

Signs of their activity: Holes chewed into leaves.

Typically seen on: Arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga, turnips.

Controls: Cover bed with floating row cover or tulle netting for the entire season, as a physical barrier to keep the butterflies from laying their eggs on the leaves. Hand-pick worms. If worms and/or damage is seen, spray Bt on the leaves.

Natural predators: Big-eyed bugs, damsel bugs, parasitic wasps, syrphid flies.

Additional information: Cabbage white butterfly

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