Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This post is about cabbage moths. If seeing pictures of bugs will cause you to lose your breakfast, you might want to just skip this blog. It's not pretty. :/

caterpillar egg

Have you noticed those cute little white butterflies flitting around your brassica family plants? (These would be cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, and my personal favorite, brussel sprouts.) Those are cabbage moths and they are not so cute when they start multiplying.

tiny caterpillars

The nasty caterpillars with their voracious appetites will devour your plants and with them, your hopes and dreams for having fresh roasted brussel sprouts with your Thanksgiving dinner!

cabbage moth damage

If you want to save your sprouts without resorting to pesticides, I recommend an intensive search and destroy mission several times a week.

big caterpillar

These are the tools that make it bearable for me. I can't wait for the day when I can delegate the task of caterpillar decimation to the Littles. Cannot wait!

garden snips

How to kill the cabbage moths:
  • If you don't like touching squishy things, glove one hand and have garden snips ready in the other.
  • Carefully inspect each leaf. Brush off the tiny little eggs hiding underneath the leaves. Brush off any thread sized caterpillars or cocoons you happen to find.
  • When you find those bigger caterpillars, they must be squashed. I use the garden snips to do the job. *shudders* It is not pleasant, but it must be done.
  • Repeat every couple of days. Vigilance is crucial!!
Do any of you, kind readers, have any tips for me on how to save my sprouts?

You DID catch the children's book reference, right?

Just had to be sure. :) I'm a big Eric Carle fan as are my Littles, though I can never read this one in quite the same way.

1 comment:

  1. Hello.... My little has helped with the task, and he refused to kill them... they are now his pets.... I have lots of jars with them...and we have to feed them and clean the jars....the good part, I feed them with the already ruined leaves, and I keep the butterflies far from my broccoli, the good side: he has seen the whole process of turning to butterfly, amazing for a 6 years old. SO if you have children that love animals, nature, and ecology....don't even show them the caterpillars...don't get close to them, don't even mention them!!!!


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