Quite a number of caterpillars feed on cabbage plants and other vegetable belonging to its family. Some of these caterpillars can do considerable damage to your crops which calls for a need to get rid of them – fast.
One of the caterpillar types that can destroy your cabbage is called cabbage loopers. This vermin looks harmless enough, but they are not.
How They Attack
They eat and attack the leaf edges of cabbages most especially during the early stage of their development. As these caterpillars grow, they feed on the center of the leaves and then finally, the center of the plant itself.
This caterpillar type does not just “nibble,” it bores through cabbage heads and can eat several times its weight each and every day. If you have more than one of these pests, they can do considerable damage to your plant in just a week.
Some of the other vegetables caterpillars love to eat are broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, kale, collard, rutabagas and other brassica vegetables.
How to Control Caterpillars
The best cost-effective method you can use to get rid of caterpillars is to pick them off and squish them.
Although cabbage loopers have enemies such as wasps, it won’t be enough to keep the population of the caterpillars down to manageable levels.
What you can do then is to buy BT or Baccillus Thuringiensis from your local gardening center. It’s a bacterium that sickens the larva of loopers and kills it in just a few days.
However, plants sprayed with BT should not be eaten immediately. You should wait for a couple of days first and thoroughly wash the plants to make sure all its traces are removed.