Cabbage Worms

Are you growing any brassicas - broccoli, kale, cabbage, or cauliflower in your garden? If so, you have probably seen small white butterflies flying around. While it may be a pretty sight, these butterflies are up to no good. Also called small white or cabbage white — these butterflies lay eggs on brassica plants that turn into small green worms when they hatch and will voraciously feed on your plants until they pupate and turn into butterflies.

There are several ways to get rid of cabbage worms. Inspecting your plants daily and hand picking off the worms is a good start. You can put them in a jar of soapy water and drown them. If you are lucky enough to have chickens or know someone who does, this is a wonderful treat for them. Another option is making a simple insecticidal soap.

Another way is to cover your crop with a floating row cover. This will keep the white butterflies from getting to your plants to lay their eggs.

You can also use BT, which is Bacillus thuringiensis. Bt is a biological insecticide that works by creating toxic proteins which kill larvae instead of mature insects. And it will not harm the beneficial insects in your yard, including honeybees, parasitic wasps, and ladybugs. Now at Moms Across America, you will hear us talking about the dangers of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) with the BT toxin genetically modified into them, but spraying it on your plants is completely safe for the organic gardener as it is naturally found in the soil and will not be transported into your vegetables.