Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Invisible Cabbage Worms

How many cabbage worms do you see in the picture below?

If you said two, then it makes me feel a little better that I wasn't the only one.  If you said three, then you saw better than I did.  These pests really blend in well.  I think I only picked two cabbage worms off of this daikon radish leaf, or what's left of this leaf.  But after I uploaded this picture, I saw that there was another one in the middle.  I'm pretty sure I didn't see it when I picked off 15 cabbage worms from this part of the garden last weekend.  Ugh, it's probably eaten another pound of greens in my garden by now.

Below are some of the highlights of the cabbage worm damage in the garden.

The damage starts out like this, with holes and chunks missing from the leaves.

But if left alone, the cabbage worms will eat the leaves down to the stems.

It's like they swallowed all the leaves whole, except for the center stems.


xoxoxo said...

Ug--those little buggers are almost invisible! But now your leaves are invisible too :(

thyme2garden said...

xoxoxo - ha, I didn't think about my leaves being invisible, too, but you are so right.

xoxoxo said...

Just so I dont look so dumb-I didnt realize your title was "invisible cabbage worms" until after I read and commented!

thyme2garden said...

xoxoxo - nothing dumb about it! Just like the cabbage worms and the leaves, maybe my title was invisible, too. :)

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Nasty buggers! But if they didn't eat the leaves you really would barely notice they are there!

So besides picking them off, what else can you do to get rid of them?

thyme2garden said...

The Apple Pie Gal - I have read that BT can kill cabbage worms. I didn't used it this year, but I think I'll try it next year.

Kelly @ The Startup Wife said...

Just ate (way too much of the) spaetzle and it was sooooo delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!!

debiclegg said...

WOW! The worm in the middle really blends in... It is amazing how quickly they can eat all the leaves!

Engineeredgarden said...

Oh gosh...that's really bad damage. I've found that a fall garden is the most difficult to protect against pests - especially cabbage worms and loopers. But, the ol' BT works every time.

thyme2garden said...

Kelly - I'm so glad that recipe worked out for you. You're very welcome!

* * * * *
debieclegg - yes, the speed and the extent of their damage really surprised me, too.

* * * * *
EG - with your endorsement, too, I'll definitely track down some BT next year.

kitsapFG said...

During the summer (when the white moths are out that are laying the eggs that will become these nasty critters) I spray the cole crops every 14 days with a Bt solution. The other alternative is to keep the crop completely covered but since sun is a limited commodity in my garden - I choose to use Bt instead and have had very good results with it.

meemsnyc said...

Oh wow, they blend in so well! That is amazing! Sorry that you have so many cabbage worms. They are awful!!

Linda said...

Wow, I only counted 2. Nasty bugs. Btw, I sent out the seeds on the weekend. I don't know how well they germinate. (Maybe I collected them too soon?)

Erin said...

I feel your pain, mine look the same way! Time for a little violence out there in the garden!

Dan Owen said...

Too bad those critters aren't edible themselves. At least they have good 'taste'. :)

Mac said...

I feel your pain, those are nasty little worms, it's difficult to see them when they are small. I use Bt on my cole crops but not often enough to stop the damages.

thyme2garden said...

kitsapFG - another vote for Bt! This is very encouraging to hear that there's a solution to get rid of the cabbage worms.

* * * * *
meemsnyc - we just don't run out of pests in our gardens!

* * * * *
Linda - thanks for the seeds! I'll let you know how they germinate.

* * * * *
Erin - I'm all for violence against garden pests. :) They deserve it!

* * * * *
Dan Owen - If they were edible, I would eat them. Okay, maybe not. :)

* * * * *
Mac - thank you. I hope to give Bt a try next year myself.

Kelly said...

They are gross. I am sure I have eaten many of them (sad, but true), and as a matter of fact they keep me from harvesting so often because I know I will never see them all to pick off, the salt & water thing doesn't work all that well. YUCK!

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