imported cabbageworm (103220 bytes)

Cabbage "Worms"

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Former President Bush may not give a hoot for broccoli and other members of the cabbage family, but some insects have taken quite a liking to these vegetables, thank you.

The imported cabbageworm (above), a fuzzy green caterpillar that transforms to the familiar white cabbage butterfly (left), may be the most frequent visitor to members of the cruciferous vegetable family. But eggs (right) and larvae of the cabbage looper, diamondback moth and zebra caterpillar also can be found hanging around.cabbage looper butterfly  (100453 bytes)

Before you get too upset about the occasional hole in a leaf, remember that these plantscabbage looper egg  (28643 bytes) can tolerate a lot of leaf loss without affecting yield or maturity. Only during seedling establishment or early head formation are these plants particularly sensitive to these injuries.

Bacillus thuringiensis, a biological pesticide, controls cabbage family pests. Sevin also is effective. And, the few pests that remain on the vegetables can be washed out after harvest using water and a small amount of detergent or other surfactant.


Photos: Judy Sedbrook


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Date last revised: 01/05/2010