Cabbage worm: control and treatment

Cabbage worm: control and treatment

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TheCabbage worm (Pieris brassicae) is a species of butterfly that naturally reproduces in the leaves of cabbage, and subsequently feeds on them.

Cabbage worms can cause great damage to the vegetable patch.

Read also :

  • All our articles dedicated to cabbage
  • the boxwood moth

The cabbageworm

The cabbage worm is characterized by the appearance of a white butterfly, which is about 3 cm tall.

It finds refuge in most Brassicaceae, and in particular the different types of cabbage, but also nasturtium.

We recognize the cabbageworm by its white color, of course, but also by the black spot on the front wing. Females can be distinguished by the presence of three other black spots on the fore wings that males do not have.

Life cycle of the cabbageworm

Cabbageworm can appear at different times of the year, in spring as well as summer and fall. In winter, the worm takes shelter in the form of a chrysalis.

It is in the spring that the first wave of piérides appears. The butterflies nest under cabbage leaves to lay their eggs, which then become caterpillars, and that's when the first damage will appear on the cabbages.

Indeed, the caterpillars feed on the cabbage leaves that they are particularly fond of. There are holes in the cabbage leaves.

Cabbageworm can wipe out a crop.

The cabbageworm gives rise to 3 generations of caterpillars per year, the last of which usually appear in the fall.

Cabbage leaf damage

The damage is variable and depends mainly on the number of caterpillars nested under the leaves of the cabbages.

You can see a few holes appear which will not affect the harvest much.

But a heavy invasion of cabbageworm can wipe out the cabbage crop, so it's better to fight first than to have to heal.

Preventive control of cabbageworm

There are many organic treatments for cabbageworm that prevent the use of products that are harmful to the environment and to cabbage crops.

Preventive treatments:

The first reaction is often to put up a protective net against the cabbageworm.

This solution is effective when it is certain that there are no caterpillars in the soil because, with or without a net, it will have plenty of time to develop.

Plants that are repellents against the seaworm:

There are a large number of plants such as wormwood, lemon balm, mint, cosmos, sage, tomato or even thyme.

It is also the best way to vary crops for better biodiversity in the garden and vegetable patch.

As with aphids, nasturtiums attract pimples which, meanwhile, do not go on cabbages!

Curative treatments for piéride

The first thing to do is crush the eggs with a knife blade. This work can take a long time if the attack is severe, but it guarantees to eat completely healthy cabbages.

When the piérides have invaded your cabbages, all that remains is to practice sprays containing Bacillus thuringiensis, insecticide that can be found in all garden centers.

It is then advisable to spray the product approximately 20 cm from the plants and repeat the operation if necessary a few days later.

Among the natural treatments to try, we recommend a decoction of chamomile, tansy, wormwood and verbena.

Smart tip

The association with the vegetable garden with celery and tomato helps to repel cabbageworm.

(Photo1dany13), (Photo2Etienne Mahler) (Photo3Thomas Bresson) flickr

Read also :

  • All our articles dedicated to cabbage
  • the boxwood moth

Video: Garden Pests: 8 Ways to Protect Your Cabbages (August 2022).