dislike poisons in general. don't trust that
this one only affects the bug in question. don't
like repeated applications as that is expensive
and also can breed resistance.
if there is resistance i'd have to continue to
monitor and hand pick along with the repeated
spraying -- just doesn't seem to gain much in
the end. i don't mind hand-picking, just that
i ignored them for a while (we had regulr rains
for the past six weeks) as they were growing
well and i had other things to do. when watering
yesterday i noticed they were being chewed on...
now that i know i have to include it in the
daily routine we'll see how it goes.
No they never give up except when it is too cold, yes they can have many
generations per season depending on how long your warm season is.
The worms will only attack the outside but still will cause quite a bit of
Where you can't find them.
By far the simplest solution if you don't want to spray is netting. Use
polymer netting that is used on fruit trees, the mesh is about 2cm (1in) and
the butterflies cannot get through. No butterlfies means no eggs, no eggs
no grubs. Youy can make hoops out of polypipe to stand the net off the
cabbage. The same applies to any brassica that the cabbage butterfly eats.
i may take a butterfly net with me as
sometimes i can get fairly close enough
to the butterflies.
i'm not seeing any reference which says that
they will cocoon and hatch out again more than
once a season. i do see references which say
that they lay eggs all season and are fairly
that's ok. we just want organic/non-sprayed
cabbage. if they have to cut around damage
during processing that is fairly normal anyways.
hehe. probably some of them, but if they
don't crawl far before spinning there's not
much place for them to go in this particular
patch. if they will use the underside of rocks
then i can likely find some of them (and the
raccoons will find some of them too).
if i can protect the heads using old stockings
that would be much more preferable (less material
used and less fuss and bother overall). just
not experienced enough with cabbage yet to know
how they work/grow/habit, etc.
my mistake was ignoring the plants to begin
with, they looked good from a distance and i
didn't need to water them for quite some time.
with the white butterflies floating around i
should have kept a closer eye on them.
as they say, yet another growth experience...
next batch will get a daily inspection now that
i see what the worms can do.
The problem is their pupation on wild hosts.
You can get them in the garden, but the wild mustards in the district are a
little harder to find.
and here's another example of how farming in the
current form creates problems for gardeners and
right now the farmers spray their fields with
herbicides. the drift kills off ground cover
in the neighboring ditches, creeks, roadsides,
etc (increasing erosion and pollution) and the
wild mustards take over bare spots fairly quickly.
there is no shortage of hosts around here for
the picking of worms rapidly tapered
off after the first week. i find a
worm here or there now, but nothing like
the second flight of butterflies is
on. i'm now finding many specks on the
bottom of the leaves and figure they
are likely to be eggs from these butterflies.
i'll keep my eyes peeled the next few days
when i can get back outside to look for eggs
i'm just knocking them off onto the ground
or bottom leaves. i'm not sure how effective
that will be. perhaps much better to use sticky
tape or to brush them into soapy water. we'll
see how it goes.
If I see the eggs, I rub them a bit in hopes that they smush.
I am not sure that they do.
But at this stage of life, I don't do well spotting tiny eggs near
ground level unless I crawl. I spend enough time on my knees dealing
with the creaping thistles, I'm not doing that for cabbage worm
Next year I may add cabbage to the broccoli. Either way, I am
strongly considering row covers for next year, as long as it is a
Drew Lawson | I'd like to find your inner child
| and kick its little ass
yeah, it's a challenge, i only get the ones up
higher and those i can get to easily. others i
hope the wasps will get when they hatch.
in today's inspection (after being away for
several days) the eggs are not as many, a few
small worms and not much else, nor much new
damage, even with many butterflies about i
think the wasps have now caught up with the
population of worms hatching. i don't know if
the wasps or ants get the eggs or what feeds
on those, but there were many fewer than i
expected. perhaps ladybugs.
i hope you can find someting durable and not
Polymer mesh used for netting fruit trees is cheap and will last quite a few
seasons especially if not put under stress. You could make hoops out of
polypipe to stand it off the plants or just drape it over. You can water
and inspect through the mesh and just lift it to harvest. I find this a
very simple solution to cabbage butterflies.
Derris dust is a poisinous preparation of crushed roots from the Derris
plant. Other plants also contain the active ingredient ,called Rotenone,
and are sometimes used. Rotenone is a naturally occurring substance in
many plants. In the past it was considered to be relatively safe however
new research suggests that this may not be the case. Rotenone is
extremely toxic to fish so Derris dust should never be used near
In 2010, a study was published detailing the progression of
Parkinson's-like symptoms in mice following chronic intragastric
ingestion of low doses of rotenone. The concentrations in the central
nervous system were below detectable limits, yet still induced PD
In 2011, a US National Institutes of Health study showed a link between
rotenone use and Parkinson's disease in farm workers.
Why kill so many invertebrates indescriminately when a bit of net will
selectively keep out the butterflies and prevent them laying? Why keep
applying dust every time it rains or you water (if watering overhead) when
the net will work the entire growing season with no effort required? Old
habits die hard but give it a try. I am not so dogmatic as to say never use
insecticides but when it saves money, effort and collateral damage it's a
very easy decision.
we've had this conversation before Roy.
it may not have harmed you. it may harm
others or it may harm other creatures i
wish not to harm.
it seems to be going ok for now just by
hand-picking and observing. as i won't be
the person chopping and turning these
cabbages into saurkraut i won't likely know
what the final results will look like. i'll
have to remember to ask.
cabbage worm excrement is likely about as
edible as saurkraut, but i'm sure most of it
washes off anyways. really, i'd not worry
about that problem any more than i worry
about a bit of dirt on a strawberry or some
I tried row covers for a while. The problem was, under cover the
earwigs** and slugs went wild (especially the earwigs). The covers
protected them from predators. The lack of air circulation lead to
fungus problems (especially for cucumbers).
So now I grow kholrabi in the spring (because it matters not if the leaves
get a bit tattered) and bok choi in the fall and forget about heading
types of cabbage at home. No more pretty looking heads laced through
with worms or earwigs and their excrement.
**BTW, this is a BANNER YEAR for earwigs. They may have ruined
my fence charger. It was PACKED FULL of earwigs. Good thing I had
a backup. The groundhogs have been feeding on mulberry leaves that
keep shooting up along the neighbor's fence. The shock wire is the only
thing that keeps them going over the garden fence.
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