Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cabbage worm myth - debunked!

Such a pretty little butterfly.  Such a destructive little larvae!  Cabbage worms abound on my brassicas this year, so I just purchased a roll of floating row cover.  But it's too late for the ones that are already being munched on.  What to do?  Search the internet, of course!  Hmmm...here's a possible solution: "Simply sprinkle a mixture of flour and baking soda onto the leaves.  Then, when the cabbage worms eat the baking soda, they die."  Sounds easy, right?  Wrong :(

Well, I actually did the sprinkling thing, but I decided to go one step further.  I put 2 large cabbage worms into the leftover baking soda / flour container to see what would happen.  After 2 1/2 days they are still going strong - happily eating all the baking soda / flour they desire.  (I know they are eating, cause I see the poop.)


If anybody has actually had luck with this method, please let me know.  Otherwise, I suggest we save our flour and baking soda for the kitchen!

UPDATE:  I washed off the brassicas today and noticed that the flour/baking soda mixture actually bleached out the leaves in some places.

5 comments:

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Interesting! Could it be a mutant worm?

Jackie said...

Tatyana, I suppose anything is possible. But I imagine that this baking soda trick was really just a theory...

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I've never heard of using flour and baking soda, interesting. We had a horrendous cabbage looper problem this last spring in our lettuce patch. We had a row cover but I hadn't a noticed a hole in it. We replaced the cover, and then early each morning went out and hand picked the loopers off the lettuce, and tossed them out to the chickens. It incited a frenzy between the hens, but within the week, we had the looper problem fixed...and very happy chickens!

meemsnyc said...

Oh how annoying that baking soda doesn't do anything. Not sure what does.

TS said...

I think you've been contacted by aliens in worm form. Please feed the worms to the chickens and save us all!! You're our only hope! ;0)