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smokensqueal
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Cabbage worms?

I'm finding these little green worms on my cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. It almost ate all of my one cabbage plant before I found them. Some are very small others are a bit bigger. I’ve been picking them and smashing them. But there are SO many. Is there some other way I can help prevent them or stop them? Any ideas to help control this beast?

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I have my kids catch the white butterflies 8) I also check under the leaves for the little yellow eggs and rub them off or smush them (my 7 yr old likes doing that too -- it's like a treasure hunt :wink: ) The correct way to avoid them is to put floating covers on them early on since these don't need pollinators. But I keep wondering if it doesn't get hotter inside the covering. I think to avoid overheating, I would then have to put up a shade cloth :roll: I've also heard that you could put pantyhose on them. In my case, the other problem is that I've interplanted everything so I can't easily isolate the cole crops.

About the egg destroying -- I feel oddly conflicted whenever I do this because in the summer time, I collect Monarch butterfly eggs to raise. Then, I feel elated every time I find the precious eggs!

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smokensqueal
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Thanks Applestar. I think I'll just keep doing what I've been doing. I may try and individual cover or something next year. This year I'll just deal with it since they are already here. I haven't found may of the little eggs but when I find them I smash them also.

Do you know if bird or something else eat the little worms? I've seen a lot in my garden the last week or so.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

In my garden, wasps are always inspecting the cabbages. They also inspect the romaine lettuce (I'm not sure if they are just making sure :lol: ) Yellow Jackets also feed their young with caterpillars. I'm sure birds would eat them too, but I don't see them that often among the cole crops, though that *may* be what the song sparrows are doing -- I've often wondered why they are in there.

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!potatoes!
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plenty of birds WILL eat them, but they're pretty well camoflaged (sp?) when they're on the plants...if there's an open spot to put them after they're picked off, somebody will snap 'em up. chickens sure think they're great.

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applestar
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:lol: I usually put the bigger ones on the bird feeder. :wink: Tiny ones, I'm too clumsy to even try picking up -- mush...

My DD7 insisted on raising a couple. One pupated and eclosed from the chrysalis after a few days. I had to let her release it. :roll: The other one looked like it was going to pupate but instead turned into a mass of yellow lumpy pupa, and a swarm of tiny black wasps eclosed a few days later. I released THEM of course. :cool:

So I forgot to mention *those* tiny beneficial parasitic wasps. They look a bit like winged green aphids, except they're black and have long antennae. I wish I knew what they're called -- I thought they were trichogramma, but the Google images don't match the ones I saw. :?:

Edited to add: OK They looked more like braconids but these didn't start out with the classic pupae-on-cat's-back. They came from inside the cat.

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