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Unknown pest eating cabbages

Cabbage (red, white, Savoy)    Saltburn, North Yorkshire, England

Major problems with Cabbage leaves being eaten. The plants have been netted so there is no damage from birds. Slug pellets have been deployed and there is no obvious damage from slugs - no trails etc. Some small green caterpillars have been found but not in the quantity that can cause so much damage so quickly. I though mice may be a problem but again there is no real evidence through trails etc. The plants have been sprayed with systemic insecticide but to no effect. I have had to remove by autumn and winter crops because of the damage. Please, have you any idea of what the problem may be. Thanks.

Peter Wright

Thanks for the responses. I have pulled up a plant and washed it to flush out any caterpillars etc but none seen. I am surprised that the critters survive in the low temperatures. There are definitely no slugs and although the netting is smaller than bird netting I know it will not keep out the moths. But are they still active? I have taken some photos as requested but don't know how to attach them to this document.

Peter Wright


Posted by: Peter Wright (1 point) Peter Wright
Posted: November 16, 2014




Answers

1
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Can you post a picture of the damage? The little green worms are cabbage worms, and they can be a bigger problem than they seem. If the "netting" you have up is bird netting, it won't repel cabbage moths. You need something like Agribon or another brand of floating row cover. Or, you can spray the plants weekly with Dipel, which only kills insects which actually eat the plant, and it doesn't harm us, either.


Posted by: Nicole Castle Brookus (21 points) Nicole Castle Brookus
Posted: November 17, 2014




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Provide close up pictures of the bite marks and damage. Provide quite a few as it can be diagnostic

Also, go out at night with a torch looking for slugs


Posted by: David Hughes (43 points) David Hughes
Posted: November 16, 2014




0
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Those small green caterpillars can cause a lot of damage in very little time! I've had some on my perennial kale plant, and whole leaves have disappeared. At first glance it looks like they're not there, and a closer look reveals lots of them, in all sizes.


Posted by: Tanya in the Garden (128 points) Tanya in the Garden
Posted: November 17, 2014




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