broccoli caterpillars - Knowledgebase Question

Question by epcummings
June 2, 2010
Yesterday I pulled my 9 broccoli plants out of the ground. I was told that the many holes in the leaves were caused by caterpillars. I'd like to replant broccoli in the fall. How can I avoid the same thing happening or treat it if it happens again? And do I need to treat the soil where they were planted?

Answer from NGA
June 2, 2010


Cabbage worms are the culprits and they are not in the soil so you won't need to treat the soil. The white butterflies you see around your garden are the adults. They lay eggs on broccoli and cabbage plants. The eggs hatch into caterpillars and feed on the veggies. You can control them with applications of Bt (bacillus thuringensis), which is sold as Dipel or Thuricide in your garden center. Good luck with your new crop of broccoli!

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