Caterpillars Targeting Broccoli And Cauliflower?

Hi Everybody,
I have experienced a caterpillar attack on my broccoli and then similar-appearing damage to my cauliflower.
The broccoli was an obvious victim, since I caught them in the act, swarming on the head of a couple of plants one morning. The cauliflower have recieved lots of holes in the the leaves, just like a previous symptom on the broccoli. And I also found a bunch of apparant larvae on one of the cauliflower leaves.
However, other vegetables in the same area were left alone.
Is this just a coincidence? Just a random, one-time distribution of the caterpillar population? Or does this indicate some dietary preference?
This specific gang of perpetrators are each about a centemetre or so long, neon-green, and walk with a sort of "inch-worm" type wave through their body (but the legs are obvious.) I think the butterfly version is a small, white variety.
Comments? Thanks.
-V.
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On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 21:33:35 -0800, Antipodean Bucket Farmer wrote:

Sounds like the cabbage moth. Treat the plants with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), a naturally occurring bacteria that attacks the digestive systems of caterpillar and which is not harmful to humans. The critters have discovered an easy food source. Do you really think they will breed once and move onward? You will have to spray at regular intervals, perhaps once a week. The other option is to yank the plants and grow something else.
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Antipodean Bucket Farmer said:

Cabbage loopers -- the larva of a small gray-brown night-flying moth. They heavily prefer plants in the cabbage family but will also feed on alfalfa, peas, beets, lettuce, and some flowers.
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r114300711.html
The cabbage white butterfly's caterpiller does not walk by hunching up. It specializes in cabbage family members (crucifers) only.
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Antipodean Bucket Farmer wrote:

Well, the inch worm description makes it sound like a cabbage looper. The neon-green and white butterfly parts make it sound like cabbage worms. Maybe you hit the jack pot and have both. ;-)
Cabbage worms can be hard to spot when they are small. They tend to just lay there next to a leaf vein or leaf edge and blend in. With either caterpillar, it's no coincidence that they only go for the cauliflower and broccoli. Those plants, and other plants in the cabbage family are all they want to eat.
As one or more than one person has said, BT is the best cure for any of these caterpillars. I've had very good results results with products like Dipel that are a powder that you mix with water and spray on. I once needed some new BT and could only find the kind that comes in a shaker can to be sifted right onto the plant. For what ever reason, that didn't work at all.
Steve in the Adirondacks PS I see this is going to 3 newsgroups and I only read R.G.E so I don't know wow much information I am repeating.
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Steve wrote:

How do you get the underside of the leaves where most bugs and catipillars like to hide?
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Offbreed wrote:

Well, with that kind of product, I couldn't. That shouldn't matter with a BT product. Since it doesn't kill by contact, you don't have to get it on the hiding caterpillars. You just have to put it where they will eat it. I was trying to kill cabbage worms and they eat a hole right through the leaf. Coverage of the upper surface would do it. As I said, it didn't work. Perhaps it was old, perhaps it had too low a concentration from the beginning. Maybe enough didn't stick to the leaves to do the job. Dipel mixed with water and sprayed on works every time.
Steve
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Serious dietary preference.

Sounds like a perfect description of Cabbage Loopers. As the name implies, cabbage is their preferred food, but Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Brussel Sprouts (possibly Endive and Chard as well, but we never grew those at home, so I don't know first-hand) are close enough relatives that they'll attack them, too, especially if there's no actual cabbage in your garden patch. Pretty much anything else is immune to all but the most minor "trial nibbles" from these little beasties.
Only thing I know to do for them is Sevin dust, although I've heard some folks claim that a concoction called "Safer's Soap" can be useful.
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I have experienced a caterpillar attack on my broccoli and then similar-appearing damage to my cauliflower. Is this just a coincidence? Just a random, one-time distribution of the caterpillar population? Or does this indicate some dietary preference?walk with a sort

think the butterfly version is a small, white variety.
See: http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Pests/cabgewrm.htm sed5555
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Cabbage Loopers are just about guaranteed to appear on broccoli and cauliflower. They are very common and usually don't disturb other vegetables.
You can use Bt powder (Dipel Dust) or the liquid form called Thuricide. It's an organic bacteria that targets just caterpillars or chewing larvae. Just follow the directions on the label and you'll be fine.
Penny Zone 7b - North Carolina

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or just toss a floating row cover on em to keep the moths from laying eggs.

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Sounds like the attack of the Cabbage Butterfly. Don't despair, just get some BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) from your garden center, mix it up, spray it on, repeat according to package directions. It's a bacillus that kills only caterpillars, not toxic to you (organic approved), and one of the few sprays I bother to put on my garden. It's sold under a number of brand names: just ask for BT at the garden center. If shopping at a big box store where the help knows nada about gardening, just look at the ingredients label till you find one that says BT, and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS on the label. (Shouting because so many don't read all directions, think more is good, and end up poisoning the world or at least wasting product!) Good luck. W.
Antipodean Bucket Farmer wrote:

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Sounds like the attack of the Cabbage Butterfly. Don't despair, just get some BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) from your garden center, mix it up, spray it on, repeat according to package directions. It's a bacillus that kills only caterpillars, not toxic to you (organic approved), and one of the few sprays I bother to put on my garden. It's sold under a number of brand names: just ask for BT at the garden center. If shopping at a big box store where the help knows nada about gardening, just look at the ingredients label till you find one that says BT, and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS on the label. (Shouting because so many don't read all directions, think more is good, and end up poisoning the world or at least wasting product!) Good luck. W.
Antipodean Bucket Farmer wrote:

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27 Arnold Road
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Sounds like the attack of the Cabbage Butterfly. Don't despair, just get some BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) from your garden center, mix it up, spray it on, repeat according to package directions. It's a bacillus that kills only caterpillars, not toxic to you (organic approved), and one of the few sprays I bother to put on my garden. It's sold under a number of brand names: just ask for BT at the garden center. If shopping at a big box store where the help knows nada about gardening, just look at the ingredients label till you find one that says BT, and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS on the label. (Shouting because so many don't read all directions, think more is good, and end up poisoning the world or at least wasting product!) Good luck. W.
Antipodean Bucket Farmer wrote:

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Joseph S. Larson
27 Arnold Road
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