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How do cabbage worms appear as if by miracle
Old 06-07-2016, 07:55 PM   #1
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How do cabbage worms appear as if by miracle

This year we decided to plant Bok Choi, after several years of not having any in our garden. We had a wonderful crop and then the little green cabbage worms started appearing as if by miracle in huge numbers and decimated our crop. Just curious, were these worms teleported to our garden by the God of retribution for all gardening efforts? Do they just stay dormant in the environment until a cabbage miraculously starts growing nearby? We live fairly isolated on a hilltop in SW Oregon, the nearest garden is probably a mile away so where did they come from?
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:05 PM   #2
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I would guess they eat a lot of other things near by, and always were there. Once the cabbage was ready, they chose that instead.

Use a few chemicals and you will not have them.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:27 PM   #3
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They hatch from a white butterfly looking moth that lays the eggs. Google cabbage worms and there are a number of sites telling you how to get rid of them.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:34 PM   #4
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Thanks, this season is pretty much done but will try the organic control methods next season. I'm reluctant to apply inorganic pesticides -this is Oregon after all...
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejman View Post
This year we decided to plant Bok Choi, after several years of not having any in our garden. We had a wonderful crop and then the little green cabbage worms started appearing as if by miracle in huge numbers and decimated our crop. Just curious, were these worms teleported to our garden by the God of retribution for all gardening efforts? Do they just stay dormant in the environment until a cabbage miraculously starts growing nearby? We live fairly isolated on a hilltop in SW Oregon, the nearest garden is probably a mile away so where did they come from?
A nice cabbage white butterfly fluttered by and laid eggs on your beautiful crop. The eggs hatched into an army of caterpillars. Butterflies can fly for miles and they probably smell (chemical reception) their host plant and thus are drawn to it.

You can use the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) that kills caterpillars and it will be very effective. If you are careful to only spray your cole crops and not any surrounding plants, then only the cabbage white caterpillars will be affected. Butterflies are very specific to which host plants they use.
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