Cabbage Moth Larvae Tried to Kill My Brussels Sprouts!

It never ends, the garden war. Just countless battles making me think that I’m winning! Hahaha! I noticed holes in some of my Brussels sprouts leaves. Ugh. I’m honestly not sure how well any of my vegetables will do, as I just kind of planted seeds and hoped for the best. Test run year! (I should definitely research a LOT more.) But I am hopeful they might produce something, so I want to protect them.
My poor Brussels sprouts!!

I Googled “what’s eating my Brussels sprout leaves?” and found this link, which prompted me to check the back side of the leaves in question, near the middle vein. Sure enough, I found tiny inch-long or less green larvae. Cabbage moth larvae! (Read that link…they are butterflies, we Americans just call them moths because they look like moths.)

An example of a cabbage moth larvae decimating a leaf!

This article goes a little more in depth about what exactly I’m dealing with. She recommends a few different natural enemies and two biological pesticides, Bt and spinosad. Spinosad was also in the Sluggo I purchased so I knew about that already. A little more Googling of Bt and I finally stumbled across something I can find at Home DepotCaptain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew. There was a Bonide product specifically for caterpillars but I couldn’t find it locally, don’t have time to wait, and like the idea of this spray covering a few more critters than one!

Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew

I did try murdering the worms by hand, but they are SO TINY. I was dropping them and not sure if I had squished them first or not, meaning they’d probably find their way back to my Brussels sprouts again. And I have a lot of plants, so that’s a lot of leaves to pick through, as well as ensure you got every single one. In the fine words of the interwebs these days, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” 😉

Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew ingredients label

I applied the first round on June 13. I had to wait a day after purchasing the spray because it was windy, so I told the worms to eat up because it was their last meal!! I checked back the next day and most of them seemed to be gone or dead. A few larger ones remained, so I picked them off if I saw them, and assured myself if there were any more, they’d be gone soon enough. A few days later, and I don’t see anything on them at all! I did spray a second round on June 19, as the bottle said it can be reapplied every 6 days, up to 6 times a season for Brussels sprouts. [Check the label for other produce, there were specific instructions for each!] I probably won’t spray them again unless I see the worms again…I actually did the second spray because I saw a damn cabbage moth flying around the area again! Stop it! To think I assumed they were just pretty little white butterflies, pollinating the lands.

Cabbage moth

Oh yeah, I sprayed my pumpkin plant, too. There was one tiny creature (not sure what it was) and a little hole starting on one leaf. Not taking any chances!!

Pumpkin leaf – tiny hole upper right!

What did you plant this year? What are your favorite produce gardening tips you think I should know about???

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