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Rude! How to Prevent Cabbage Worms in Your Garden

Last month, I noticed a white butterfly fluttering around our garden. I immediately found it’s activity to be quite suspicious. It would not go away. There was something in our garden that tickled it’s fancy. I, however, didn’t know it was about our beloved cabbage. Two weeks later, I suppose, I started to notice teeny little holes in the cabbage plants that I was ever so proud of. So after noticing the holes in the our cabbage, I knew they had been attacked by cabbage worms. And I had discovered that the white butterfly that I had seen weeks prior, was the culprit. I tried making my own cabbage-repellent solution and it failed me. It consisted of a combination of water, Fels Naptha shavings, and vanilla extract. It’s basically used to mask the smell of the cabbage to keep the worms at bay. Maybe I needed to add more of something to the solution, but it was unsuccessful.

After two days of spraying, the holes continued to get worse and the broccoli became victim of the little munchin’ monsters. I went out during the evening to discover worms all over our cabbage and broccoli. I removed the nasty little buggers, sprayed the cabbage and broccoli down again with my homemade solution and dusted them with flour. So far so good. And for good measure, I’ve just started using an eco-friendly garden insect killer by Eco Smart. They sent me a bundle of their products which also included the insect repellent (we’re always needing this), weed and grass killer (we have a few eyesores), and garden fungicide (just in case, I can’t take anymore surprises).

Since cabbage worms are such an invasive garden pest, I decided to include some information about the critters and how to get rid of them. Oh, and I have a little giveaway below that may come in handy :).

Cabbage worms attack the following:
Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Collards, Rutabaga, Turnips, Cauliflower, Kale, Mustard Greens, Kohlrabi, Radishes, and Broccoli.

Your crops may be at risk of cabbage worms if:

  • You notice white butterflies fluttering around the garden during the day or brown diamondback moths at night.
  • You notice dark green droppings and oval-shaped, pale yellow eggs on the leaves of your plants. Be sure to check the undersides too.
  • You notice any holes in the centers of plant leaves and unexplained rips in the plant leaves.

Cabbage worms can be prevented and controlled by:

  • Planting mint, sage, rosemary, thyme or hyssop alongside the cabbage plants to repel the worms.
  • Applying hot pepper spray (1/2 cup of ground hot peppers into 1 pint of water) every four to five days.
  • Dusting plants with white flour after watering or during the morning dew.
  • Using floating row covers for plants, especially in late spring when cabbage worms emerge.
  • Placing a nylon stocking over each cabbage head until harvest time.
  • Hand picking and destroying any worms at the first sight.

Win an EcoSmart Value Bundle!

EcoSmart would like to give away a value bundle ($33 ARV) to one Sophistishe reader! Winner will be able to choose from the Safe Home Value Bundle, Safe Plant & Garden Value Bundle, Safe Picnic Value Bundle, or Safe Patio Value Bundle.

And the winner is… Mike (mtdoonmeister)! Congrats!

To Enter

Let me know what value bundle you’d need and why!

This post has been sponsored by EcoSmart with samples and the above giveaway prize. All opinions (if expressed) are always my own. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Jaque R.

Saturday 30th of July 2011

I need the Safe Lawn and Outdoor Value Bundle because I have problems with weeds and often hornets. Thank you.


Saturday 30th of July 2011

I'd pick the safe patio bundle because we spenda lot of time in the backyard in the summer.

Steph A

Saturday 30th of July 2011

I commented on your playdate post!

Steph A

Saturday 30th of July 2011

I follow you on twitter and tweeted!

Steph A

Saturday 30th of July 2011

I like Eco-smart on fb! stephanie a....

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