October 22, 2017

Cabbage Moths – How to keep them away from the vegie patch

cabbage moth

Adult Cabbage Moth

Cabbage Moths were accidentally introduced into Australia during the 1930’s.  Since then, the Cabbage Moth caterpillars have been merrily munching their way through vegie patches across much of the country.

In this blog, we’ll explain some kid friendly ways to remove and control them in your patch.

The first signs of a cabbage moth infestation will either be small white moths fluttering around the garden or lots of holes in the leaves of your prized vegies.  Cabbage moths usually lay their eggs on the underside of the leaf so this is where the little green caterpillars can usually be found.

Cabbage Moth Caterpillars

Cabbage Moth Caterpillars

So what do you do if cabbage moth caterpillars on already on your vegies?

1) When you see them, remove them!  Sounds obvious, but every caterpillar gone means one less caterpillar to grow into an egg laying adult, (and one less caterpillar to munch on the vegie leaves!)
As the moths usually lay their eggs on the underneath side of the leave,  check there first.

2) Make an “insect glue” from 1 cup boiling water and 1 cup white flour (not wholemeal, this recipe isn’t designed to make them healthy!), mix until there are no lumps and add sufficient cold water to make a consistency that can be sprayed through a spray bottle, you may need about 3 cups.  Place the “insect glue into a spray bottle and spray directly onto the caterpillars.  This “glue” will work on all insects.

3) To keep more cabbage moths from laying their eggs in your vegie patch, cut out a piece of white plastic bag or cardboard roughly into the shape and size (approx. 4cm across) of a cabbage moth and tie to a stake in your vegie patch.  Cabbage moths are very territorial and they will think that the plastic bag is another moth.

The best Cabbage Moth control ever!

The best Cabbage Moth control ever!

Related posts:

Comments

  1. How far apart do you put the plastic moths?

    • Erica Lovel says:

      Hi Judy, that’s a really good question! We place plastic moths about 1-2 metres apart. This distance works well and deters the cabbage moths from our vegie patch.
      Erica

  2. This is great information. Always looking for a safe way to prevent/deal with garden pests.

    Also it’s a very economical remedy, a very important aspect for any household

    The plastic moth is especially good as it is a once only effort on my part and as I have arthritic hands that’s a significant help.

    Thanks everyone,
    Yvonne

  3. I can’t help but point out that although they are white, you seem to be referring to Pieris rapae, the cabbage white butterfly–not moth.

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment

*