Vegetable gardens must use a natural and organic method to control cabbage worms. These pests are dangerous to a garden’s health since they eat a lot of cruciferous crops. Do not be alarmed; effective cures are available without using dangerous chemicals. Let’s look at easy and sustainable ways to protect your veggies from these recurring pests.
Cabbage Worms in Vegetable Gardens
Understanding the Life Cycle of Cabbage Worms
Cabbage moths or butterflies do not immediately harm plants themselves. The “worms,” or their larvae, are responsible for that task! White butterflies are most likely laying eggs in your garden, which will result in the development of future harmful cabbage worms if you see them dancing around. Cabbage moths frequently bump their butts on leaves as they land on plants to lay their eggs.
Eggs laid by cabbage moths resemble long, white, or yellow spots. They are nearly always affixed to the leaf undersides. Squishing these eggs, if you find and recognize them, is an excellent early control technique! Please be aware, though, that ladybug eggs are yellow and oblong and are found in bunches. Typically, cabbageworm eggs are scattered and solitary.
Best Natural Remedies to Control Cabbage Worm Infestations
- Neem Oil Spray: Neem oil, derived from the neem tree, disrupts cabbage worm growth and deters feeding. Dilute neem oil in water and apply directly to the cabbage plants for effective control.
- Diatomaceous Earth Barrier: A dusting of food-grade diatomaceous earth creates a physical barrier that damages the soft bodies of cabbage worms upon contact, impeding their movement.
- Beneficial Insects – Trichogramma Wasps: Introducing Trichogramma wasps, natural predators of cabbage worms, helps control their population by laying eggs on cabbage worm eggs, preventing their hatching.
- Floating Row Covers: To prevent adult cabbage butterflies from laying their eggs on cabbage plants, floating row coverings act as a physical barrier.
- Companion Planting – Nasturtiums and Marigolds: Planting nasturtiums and marigolds alongside cabbage is a natural deterrent, repelling cabbage worms with their strong scent.
Apply Integrated Pest Management Techniques in Your Vegetable Garden
Embrace Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for a thriving vegetable garden. Start by diversifying plant types to disrupt pest habitats, minimizing the risk of infestations. Encourage beneficial insects like ladybugs and spiders to act as natural predators. Regularly inspect plants for signs of pests, intervening promptly if detected.
Utilize companion planting, strategically placing plants to enhance mutual growth and deter pests. Employ mechanical controls such as barriers or traps for larger pests. If necessary, resort to the least-toxic chemical options as a last resort. Implementing IPM ensures a balanced ecosystem, reducing the reliance on harmful pesticides and fostering sustainable vegetable cultivation practices.
Use Companion Planting to Deter Cabbage Worms
Plant some companion plants to your crops that are vulnerable to pests. Brassica companion plants, such as thyme, dill, oregano, lavender, onions, garlic, and marigolds, are reportedly deterrents to cabbage moths. However, some companion plants might operate as a “trap crop,” drawing cabbage worms to them and drawing them away from your vegetables! Neaturitiums are one such instance.
In case you missed it: Common Cabbage Damaging Pests: Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, and Management