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Cabbage Worms & Loopers- what to watch for

Last week we locked horns with some deer issues. It’s another week, and so another critter to wrestle.

Are you noticing signs of pests worming their way in to your vegetable plants?

If you’re seeing some holes in the leaves of your Cole crops (cruciferous vegetables, in the mustard ((Brassica)) family, and descendants of wild cabbage- so your broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts & similar green, leafy vegetables) you may be contending with some cabbage worms & loopers.

While it does happen, it doesn’t have to ruin your day, or your harvest.

What’s the difference between a worm & looper?

In short- a looper is the larvae of a cabbage moth and the worm is the larvae of a cabbage butterfly. Who’s on first?

The looper is named such because it has no middle body legs, and so it moves by hunching up it’s middle to scoot the back legs to meet the front. It’s kinda cute to think about, if you forget long enough they’re damaging your crops.

Check out these two articles from Old Farmer’s Almanac with signs to watch for, and how to mitigate the damage & turn your crop around. There’s a number of different options, organic or conventional, or manual- take your ‘pick.’

The next two links are from the Missouri Botanical Garden’s website. (Also where we got the image)

https://www.almanac.com/pest/cabbage-worms

https://www.almanac.com/news/gardening/gardening-advice/protect-your-garden-cabbage-worms

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/insects/caterpillars/cabbage-looper.aspx

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/insects/caterpillars/imported-cabbageworm.aspx

What garden pests get the best of you? We’ll see if we have some advice for you.

Please email mearstucker@burgerfarms.com for what you’d like for us to help with next!

Happy Planting!