Are you looking at eliminating cabbage worms naturally?
You might have encountered multiple pest problems attacking your plants as a gardener.
These cause all sorts of conditions, the most common being interruption of proper growth and development.
To fix the problem, you’ll need to identify and take steps toward resolving it.
Natural Cabbage Worm Control
Not everyone knows how to go about attending to their pest issues. This article is written to offer tips on pest conditions like cabbage worms.
If you’re currently dealing with such, the information included here will go a long way in helping you resolve the problem.
About Cabbage Worms
Cabbage worms mainly consist of four or more types which mostly destroy cabbage.
These include imported cabbage worms, cutworms, cross-stripped worms, cabbage looper, and diamondback moth larvae.
Without urgent intervention, these worms will cause irreversible damage.
The first approach to effective control requires proper identification. Identification of cabbage worms is essential to its power.
These worms rapidly chew through cabbage, broccoli heads, and cauliflower. More precisely, the base of cabbage plants is most vulnerable to attack by cabbage worms.
This mostly goes on unnoticed until significant damage is caused. When left to continue, considerable damage continues until stems and prominent veins are left behind.
Their droppings stain your product even when they don’t wholly damage the crops.
Cabbage worm presence and activities can be identified in several ways.
First, spotting these worms is one of the easiest ways to begin. Certain species can be identified from their faint yellow stripes depending on the worm you’re dealing with.
Others are recognized for their yellow-green body coloration. While some of these worms are larvae (like cabbage loopers) which later metamorphose into white butterflies, others remain as worms.
A closer look may reveal eggs and larvae and frass or fecal matter.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Cabbage Worms
Quite a several techniques can be applied to get rid of cabbage worms.
These include using row covers, removal by hand, preparing a homemade spray, spraying with neem oil, introducing natural predators, planting red and purple cabbage varieties, and adopting polyculture.
Other ways to get rid of cabbage worms include deploying beneficial insects, introducing decoy moths, and applying the Bacillus Thuringiensis treatment.
Any of these methods, when appropriately executed, does a terrific job of ridding your garden of cabbage worms.
i. Using Row Covers
Row covers will be helpful in cabbage worm control.
As the name suggests, these covers prevent cabbage worms from reaching your crops. For these to be effective, your harvest may have to be arranged in a certain way.
Besides helping to get rid of cabbage worms, row covers have other functions, including frost protection, shade provision, and protection from wild birds.
ii. Removal by Hand
Sometimes the manual removal of cabbage worms tends to solve the problem.
However, this largely depends on personal preferences. While some gardeners may prefer this method, others may consider it ineffective.
Whatever it is, removal of cabbage worms by hand tends to offer a quick fix.
Squishing these worms immediately is what tends to be the case. This might be considered gross by some. If this option doesn’t suit your style, consider finding one that does.
iii. Homemade Spray for Cabbage Worms
A homemade spray for cabbage worms can be done with various ingredients. Some essential elements you need include liquid dish soap, vinegar, and water.
To prepare, you only need to make a mixture containing ¾ cup water, ¼ cup vinegar, and a teaspoonful of your preferred liquid soap.
Mix and spray onto cabbage plants. Before you begin, consider applying to a limited area to see how it reacts. Spray in the evenings to avoid the heat of the day.
iv. Neem Oil for Cabbage Worms
Neem oil is effective in treating a wide range of conditions, including cabbage worms. To get started, you must spray this oil directly on these pests.
Now there’s no guarantee you’ll get results. If you don’t, you may want to consider using other options discussed.
v. Introducing Natural Predators
Natural predators are often a great ally and vary by type of pest problem. In the case of cabbage worms, the more suitable predators are ducks, songbirds, and chickens.
These birds (except chickens) will readily feed on cabbage worms without causing damage to your crops.
vi. Planting Red & Purple Cabbage Varieties
A creative way to rid your garden of cabbage worms is by planting varying species of cabbage. These come in multiple colors, including red and purple.
It’s been found that pests generally aren’t attracted to red and purple vegetables. This can serve your needs as you can grow cabbages with no pest interruption.
vii. Adoption of Polyculture
This is a gardening practice where companion planting or polyculture is adopted to create biodiversity.
Biodiversity has been found to attract a wide range of beneficial insects, including natural predators that help contain pest problems. The outcomes can be rewarding.
viii. Deployment of Beneficial Insects
Have you ever considered using beneficial insects for cabbage worm control? This is not a new practice as the such approach is widely used in agriculture.
Beneficial insects like parasitic wasps target arthropods like worms and caterpillars to lay their eggs on top or inside them.
As the eggs hatch, the emerging larvae feed on the host worm or caterpillar, thus eventually killing it.
ix. Introduction of Decoy Moths
Decoy cabbage moths are also part of the mix regarding effective cabbage worm control.
This method works because cabbage moths are known to be territorial. As such, the presence of decoy moths around causes cabbage worms to stay away.
x. Bacillus Thruingiensis
Though a mouthful, this naturally-occurring soil-dwelling bacterium is helpful in many biological pesticides.
It’s designed to be toxic against cabbage worms and other pests but harmless to plants.
Getting rid of cabbage worms includes all of the options mentioned and more. With these pests confirmed, it’s essential to take drastic steps toward checking their continued spread within your garden.