Cabbage plants being eaten

Asked June 3, 2020, 1:03 PM EDT

Hello, My cabbage and broccoli leaves are being eaten, but it is mostly affecting the cabbage, There are a ton of little black or dark green eggs piled in the leaves. What is the best and healthiest way to remove them and save the plants? Thank you, Laura Evans

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Hello Laura,

It might help to see photos of the damage and any suspected insects present. The dark egg-like debris you mention is probably frass (insect poop) from leaf-chewing caterpillars. One of the most common pests of cabbage and broccoli is the caterpillar of the Cabbage White butterfly or Cabbage Looper moth. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cabbage-looper-vegetables
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/imported-cabbageworm-vegetables

Natural predators and parasites of these insects tend to find them and control their numbers, but you can also physically remove them or opt to spray with the various low-impact pesticides listed in the above pages. Avoid spraying when temperatures are above 85 degrees F, and thorough coverage of all plant surfaces will make treatments more effective. Re-apply as directed according to the package label.

Miri