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Bug Alert

I just wanted to let everyone know that the fall generation of cabbage worms is here. I noticed a few small ones on my broccoli this morning and also a bunch of eggs. They are still very small (as small or smaller as in the picture below) but can do noticeable damage nevertheless (that’s how I spotted them this morning).

Early-stage Cabbage Worms

Early-stage Cabbage Worms

Hand picking is the best way to remove them and the eggs too. The eggs are very small (~1/16th of an inch) and pale yellow. They are laid individually and always on the underside of the leaves.

For more general info about cabbage worms check out my Big Bad Bugs blog.

2 Responses to “Bug Alert”

  1. Riley says:

    Whenever there are munch-holes in the leaves of my plants, I can never find the culprits. Do you have any tips for finding them?

  2. Jay says:

    Sorry about the delay in answering, the Fair interfered. Frequently, you won’t be able to find a culprit as many of the leaf chewers are adult, winged bugs that eat and leave. Caterpillars and slower/lazier adults (like Japanese Beetles) are often there but disguised to blend in to the plant they are eating. There’s no majic way to find them except to look carefully. Often they culprits will be on the underside of a leaf to hide from their predators. Also, look around the edges of the damage, especially if the damage is extensive, because they will often still be there munching away. It can also be useful to figure out what the common pests of a particular plant are so you know what you may be looking for. That can help you notice a bug that you’d otherwise overlook.

    My only other advice is to learn to live with imperfect plants. Unless the damage is truly extensive, and sometimes even then, the plant’s existence is unlikely to be threatened and if you don’t want to douse your plants in toxic chemicals you’ll never eliminate all the bugs (and therefore all the holes) anyway.

    Happy bug hunting.

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