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Whats attacking my cabbage and turnips?


 
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michelle M
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:17 pm    Post subject: Whats attacking my cabbage and turnips? Reply with quote

I've just found these little "maggots"/ miniture caterpillar things on a cabbage leaf. There are a good few leaves eaten. They are a few millimeters long, greyish in colour with black heads. I'm including photo's but the closeups aren't clear. What are they and what can i do with them? Please help, it's my first encounter with pests on my veg. I also found a few greenfly


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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they're the caterpillars of the Large White Butterfly. You've found them in the early stages, which is good. Just squish them with your thumb. Search the undersides of the cabbage leaves - you may find little clusters of yellow eggs - just squish them too. If you have the time - and are sharp enough - you can control them this way. My way this year - and it's working a treat - is to enclose the brassica bed with eco-mesh; no caterpillars, no aphids; still some slugs, but I find they're not a big problem on quick-growing, healthy plants.
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michelle M
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't expecting an answer so fast on a sat night! I've the rest of the leaves checked and found no more caterpillars or eggs, but I'll do a better check in the morning. At least I know what I'm up against now. I'll be chasing butterflies now Laughing Embarassed Thanks for the quick reply Sean
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the caterpillars are almost certainly those of the diamond back moth that occurs early in year and eats through several layers of leaves so that when the leaves open out a lot of single holes appear. The safest control is to squeeze between fingers. The parent is a moth not a butterfly.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think they're diamondbacks - I'm pretty sure they're large whites.
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diamond-backs only eat mice and rats etc. Laughing
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michelle M
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eitherway they're caterpillars anyway, I take it. I seem to have got rid of them for now, I think. Is a net the best way to protect a raised bed from butterflies and moths?
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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eco-mesh is the best, I think; fleece will work, and is cheaper, but it's fiddly - easily torn and looks a bit shabby.
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michelle M
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again Sean. I'll look into that during the week. I saw a white cabbage butterfly flying away from one of my cabbages this morning, but can't find any eggs Smile
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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure to look on the undersides of the leaves - that's where she usually lays them. Another problem you might encounter is the Small White - this ones lays her eggs singly, so they're very difficult to find. The caterpillars of this species are green, and smooth, and have a habit of lying lengthwise on the rib of the leaf, so they're also very difficult to spot. Pick them off if you can find them. But the real answer is mesh of some kind.
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blownin
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read these messages last night and checked my cabbages today 60 of them the fist one had the very small catterpillars on the underside of one leaf, all the others o k, i also noticed some had a saliver like substance with a small green like aphid within it, and also on one cellary leaf wot is the best way to get rid of this ? and wot is this ?
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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the nymph of the frog-hopper. He sucks sap out and blows bubbles in it to make a froth (cuckoo-spit) which hides and protects him. Unless they're unusually plentiful, they're pretty harmless.
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michelle M
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've often wondered over the years, what the cuckoo spit was and where it came from. You learn something every day
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