Cabbage worms are in reality grubs, which bore holes in the leaves of plants belonging to the cabbage family. However, the term also covers the adult butterfly, which is responsible for laying the eggs. If your cabbage plant is infested with cabbage worm, the cabbage head can end up looking like Swiss cheese if you make no efforts to remove the worms.
Cabbage worms are primarily of three types. These imported cabbage worms, cabbage loopers, and diamond moths. The damage wreaked by cabbage worms can be easily detected just by looking at the leaves of the infected plants.
The imported cabbage worms are green in color and they have a yellow stripe running down their backs. These grubs are around one inch in length. The adult is a white butterfly with black spots on the wings. The butterfly is around 2 inches in length.
Cabbage loopers grubs are around one and half inches in length, while the adult is a brown colored moth of the same length. The moths have distinctive silver markings on their wings.
Diamond moth caterpillars are half an inch in length, and are grayish-green in color. The adult again is a moth. As the name suggests, when an adult moth folds its wings, the wings end up forming a diamond shape. The moths are small in size, gray in color with cream colored markings on the wings.
If you are looking for ways to remove cabbage worms, the treatment plan would be based on the kind of worm infesting the plant. There are many options available. You can use organic insecticides or even predatory insects like beetles, wasps, spiders and lacewings to remove cabbage worms.
You can also use protect nylon stockings to cover the heads of cabbage so that adult moths cannot lay eggs on the leaves. Crop rotation also helps to remove cabbage worms. Following this method of cultivation, you should be looking to just one crop of brassica family plants in a year. Alternatively, if you want to grow cole crops, then you can spray the plants with Bt. However, Bt removes just the grubs and not the moths.
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