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5 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Cabbage Worms

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Have you been struggling with cabbage worms that never go away? You are not alone. Cabbage worms affect many cabbage growers farms and greenhouses.

Your efforts may never bear fruit if you get rid of the cabbage worms. To ensure you get abundant harvests, and quality cabbages, you need to know how to get rid of the cabbage worms.

But, first, let’s look at what the cabbage worm is… 

What is a Cabbage Worm?

Cabbage worms are common pests that affect cabbages. The worm also feeds on a larger cabbage family that includes:

  • Cauliflower
  • Mustard greens
  • Napa cabbage
  • Radish
  • Turnips
  • Collard greens 
  • Brocolli
  • Horseradish
  • Sprouts
vegetable, cabbage, healthy-6678396.jpg

You can identify the worm by its smooth green larvae with yellow stripes. The worm later turns into yellow or white cabbage moths. This moth lays eggs on cabbage upperparts, underparts, and crevices of the leaves.

Once the egg develops, it becomes a caterpillar that feeds on leaves. The worm leaves holes in the leaves and defoliates the cabbages. Seedlings and head formations are the most vulnerable to damage leading to low harvests.

Fortunately, you can protect your greenhouse, farm, or your large-scale planting from worms. Below are the 5 easy ways you can get rid of cabbage worms.

5 easy ways you can get rid of cabbage worms

Prevention of Cabbage Worms

You should focus on preventing the incidences of pests in the first place. You do this by growing healthy cabbages. Ensure you provide the right growing environment like temperature, sunlight, nutrients, water, and necessary netting protection

Healthy cabbage plants resist cabbage worms. You can ensure  your cabbages are healthy by:

  • Use healthy soil for your cabbage planting – Apply compost and other organic matter to keep your soil healthy.
  • Use netting to form a barrier to prevent moths from laying eggs on the leaves of your cabbages.
  • Plant different kinds of crops – a variety of plants will replicate the natural system that offers defense to cabbage worms.
  • Interplant with crops that draw moth predators.
the purple cabbage, purple, cabbage-5318959.jpg

Companion Planting

Another good method is to use companion planting. Companion planting is growing different plants together. This makes the plant productive because some plants have supportive characteristics such as growth, pest resistance, and nutrient needs. 

You can combine your cabbages planting with crops that will keep the moth away from your cabbages.  Let look at good examples of companion planting you can choose from.

  • Mustard – The plants trap cabbage moths keeping the cabbage moths away from your plants
  • Thyme – disguises the smell of those plants vulnerable to cabbage worms and moths
  • Celery –  the plant releases scents that keep the cabbage moth away.
  • Chamomile- repulse cabbage moths and conceal the scent of cabbage family plants
  • Borage insects- repels cabbage worms and moths and encourages insects that benefit your cabbages

Natural Methods

Once you detect the signs of the cabbage worms you can use the following strategies to get rid of them:

Handpicking

If you have a few greenhouses or farms with cabbages you can handpick the caterpillar and moth. Check the top, bottom, and folded parts of leaves for eggs and caterpillars.

Pick off the caterpillars and drown them in soapy water. To pick the caterpillars and moths, do it in the morning or evening. This is because at this time the worms and moths are inactive and easy to pick

Hand-picking, however, is hard work if you have large farms. You pick from affected cabbages. This will prevent cabbage damage and disrupt plants from emitting chemicals to indicate there is a ready source of food.

Natural Predators

Cabbage worms have many natural  predators you can encourage, for example,

  • Wasps, 
  • Spiders 
  • Yellowjackets, 
  • Green lacewings, 
  • Beetles 
  • Birds.

Attracting a wide range of beneficial insects on your farm can help to lower the number of cabbage moths eating your vegetables.

Row covers Netting 

If you don’t like sprays on your farm, you can use floating covers. These are for frost control but are light for bug netting. The row covers are installed on hoop frames and are easy to remove when not using them.

The netting is made to fit over the top of your cabbages. You can purchase your netting from your wholesaler, local store, or import from China.

Chemical Methods to Prevent Cabbage Worms

If everything seems not to work, do not give up. Go for the safe use of organic chemicals. Here are some of the recommended organic chemicals:

cabbage, plant, ornamental cabbage-2995829.jpg

Spay the Neem Oil

Spray your cabbages with neem oil to smother soft-bodied worms and moths. Neem is a natural ingredient from neem trees with good insecticidal and fungicidal properties. Apply it in leaves and stems and it will repel worms and moths. The neem oil is environmentally friendly. You can source neem oil at your local store or online. 

Spray with  BT (Bacillus thuringiensis)

This is a popular way to control cabbage worms naturally on your farm or greenhouse. BT  is a bacteria that occur naturally and is found in soil. Spraying it on your plants will kill the caterpillars that feed on them.

The good thing, it is toxic to only butterflies or moths. It makes them stop eating. Once BT is sprayed, it gets into their system when they eat leaves. The BT affects the digestive system of the caterpillar and it dies. 

Applying BT weekly to any plants in the cabbage family keeps them free of caterpillar damage.

Conclusions

Thanks to many ways of getting rid of the cabbage worms from natural, netting, and chemicals, the growers get quality and plenty of carbage harvests.

You can quickly employ many methods and If you’d like to have yourself or your workers enlightened more about getting rid of cabbage worms, that’s where EyouAgro comes in handy.

EyouAgro is an international agriculture producer of protection textile covers. EyouAgro offers the best and effective preventive netting products for getting rid of cabbage worms. Our primary goal is to make farmers’ lives easier and assist them in taking care of their plants. 

32 mesh insect net
32 Mesh Insect Net for Cabbage

Kindly also visit us at https://eyouagro.com for more information on netting products. To purchase your netting products and accessories online make inquiries here today! 

Hey, I’m Kevin Lyu, the founder of Eyouagro.com , Family-run business
An expert of agriculture protection textile specialist .
In the past 24 years, we have helped 55 countries and 150+ Clients like farms, orchards , vineyards to protect their plants. The purpose of this article is to share with the knowledge related to agriculture growing protection for making the plant healthier and stronger.
We are at your disposal for any technical or commercial information

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