cabbage white caterpillars

September 3, 2009 at 7:29 am 2 comments

MOSAIC - cabbage white caterpillarsWe have a lot of pigeons at the allotment so netting berries, brassicas and peas is essential.  I was very pleased with my netting efforts which resulted  in tall, healthy plants… and complacency on my part regarding other pests.  I didn’t notice the stealthy manoeuvres of the cabbage white butterflies and have now discovered several leaves on my brussels peppered with these squatters.  Lets hope they don’t notice the sprout buds on the stems before I get a chance to remove them all.

Cabbage white caterpillars like munching on brassica leaves because the high concentrations of sinigrin (mustard oil) they contain accumulates in the caterpillars body and deters predators from eating them.  Cunning and with no help from the birds the only option is to remove them all by hand.  Ewww, fortunately with the sprouts I can live without the leaves!  And next year?  6mm net to prevent the butterflies from getting in and laying their eggs.

ps. the BBC website has a brilliant tool for identifying pests and diseases on plantsBBC pests identifier copy

Entry filed under: allotment tales. Tags: .

what difference does a week make? stop watering the weeds

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Robin  |  September 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Aaarrrgh! A lily beetle! You’ve probably seen this one before – I think Macs have a desktop background of this monster. Not the kind of thing you want to see when you turn on the computer…

    • 2. Nip it in the bud  |  September 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

      see how educational blogging is; I didn’t know that but I’m glad I don’t have any lillies on the plot after reading what they get up to!


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