The Q&A Archives: Kale and Cabbage Pests

Question: How do I get rid of green caterpillars on my ornamental kale and cabbages? They have eaten all the leaves. What are they?

Answer: It sounds as though your crops are supporting a population of cabbage worms, the larval stage of the Imported Cabbage Moth. These little fellas have voracious appetites and can easily ruin a whole row of cabbage in a very short time. You can handpick and destroy the critters, or use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), a botanical insecticide that poisons the caterpillars. To avoid problems next year, plant your cole crops in a different part of the garden, and protect them with a floating row cover which will keep the adults from laying eggs on or near your plants.

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