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Bug Watch: Cabbage Moth


The larvae of this grub will eat all seedlings in the cabbage family (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale and kohlrabi) so be prepared for early control. Female moths, which can be recognised by their mottled brown colour, lay their eggs under leaves. When the larvae hatch, the brown-striped caterpillars tunnel into stems. As for any other caterpillars, at any time of year, the best control is either Dipel or Success, both of which are biological insecticides harmless to humans. Success Ultra has a one day withholding period. 

The cabbage moth is very territorial and she won't lay her eggs where other moths are, we have found installing a solar powered 'fake' butterflies to hover around the Brasscia plants does the trick. Other strategies include netting the whole bed with fine insect control netting, placing a few laminated white moth cutouts on sticks around the garden or egg shells with eyes drawn on.

The cabbage moth are particularly voracious during autumn and spring.


Text: Linda Ross

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Author: Linda Ross