How to stop bugs on fruit and veg. - Knowledgebase Question

Colorado springs, Co
Avatar for Banox627
Question by Banox627
June 30, 2010
Hello,I live in Colorado and my cabbages have holes in the leafs but I cannot see any bugs,also I have 2 apple trees and EVERY year out of 100's of apples I am lucky to get 1,all the others get eaten by birds!!Please HELP!!

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
I apologize for the delay in responding. We were flooded with questions and are working to catch up! It's probably a cabbageworm or cabbage looper, small green caterpillars that eat leaves. If you catch them early, handpicking them is an easy and effective control. Look under leaves and all around the plant. You can often spot their dark, pellet-shaped droppings which can help you locate them. If they are out of control, you can use Bacillus thurengiensis or Bt. It is a biological control--a bacteria that kills only caterpillars and is safe to other insects, humans and animals.

Just about the only thing to prevent birds from getting at your fruit is netting, and alas, this isn't always easy with larger trees. It's also a problem when birds get trapped in it. There are the old standbys such as hanging aluminum pie pans from the branches, metallic reflective tape, wind chimes, and fake owls. These do work for some folks on some birds, especially if you keep changing and moving them about. You can also loosely wrap some of the fruit/branches in cheesecloth, netting, etc. to ensure you at least get to taste the fruit of your labors!

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