On two occasions we have had big problems with the Cabbage Moth. The last time was with Kale, almost overnight the crop was desiccated. The first was with Cabbages, and they made a meal of the crop here as well. These hungry little pests will also eat nasturtiums as well as a few other ornamental plants.
They start by eating the outer leaves, you will notice the holes, then they make their way into the centre of the cabbage itself. They also eat beetroot, leafy greens such as rocket, celery, and a range of other plants.
We do like our Brassicas, so we looked at control methods and found some that work and are organic.
How to Control Cabbage Moth
There are three ways of avoiding having your Brassica crop eaten by the White Cabbage Moth Butterfly.
- One is netting the crop to stop them getting to the crop in the first place.
You will need a fine netting to stop them from getting through and will need to secure it all around.
- You can also pick the larvae and small caterpillars off by hand if you have the time. if this is the chosen method, remember too look under the leaves, most of the larvae and caterpillars will be here.
- The third method is to spray them. If you are going down the spraying path, here are a few tips and tricks to make it more effective and organic.
The Moth or Butterfly itself has a waxy coating to its body so organic sprays like pyrethrum don’t work that well.
Add a little dish washing liquid to the spray and it will work like a charm.
You will need a good quality pressure sprayer and will also need to be patient, as you need to actually spay the pest itself.
So grab your spray bottle and a chair, take a seat in the veggie garden and take aim.
The Cabbage Moth will lay 2 – 3 lots of eggs a season, so control needs to be ongoing.