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Help!! I had great brussels sprouts plants and now something is completely turning the leaves into skeletons! Here is an image of the caterpillars. There are TONS of them on my plants.



What are these things??

Last edited by Lisa Low Carb Ed; 08/20/09 08:52 PM.

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Just to show how bad it is -


Last edited by Lisa Low Carb Ed; 08/20/09 08:52 PM.

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OK after a log of digging I *think* it is a Cross-striped Cabbageworm - Evergestis rimosalis - I found a page which says "The Cross-Striped cabbageworm is more of a problem on broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and Brussels sprouts than it is on kale and cabbage.". That's for sure!!

Now what??


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My broccoli plant looks like that too. I never saw anything eating it though.

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My you do have a problem. I would suggest picking them off if you don't have very many. We used to get some gas or diesel fuel in an icecream bucket and then dropped them in. You didn't have to worry about them crawling out. Or you can just drop them in water and then when you are finished picking the worms off, put a lid on the bucket in case they do happen to crawl out.

There are sprays that you can use. Bacillus thuringiensis or BT, Spinosad, are the organic solutions. There is also Sevin, and malathion, but these are not organic. Be sure to read directions though.

If I discover anything else, I will post it.
Gail Delaney - Gardening Editor



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Neem works on many soft worms (I use it on cabbage loopers when it gets bad on kale). Often first I'll go out and thin the plants back heavily if needed and pick off any worms. If you are squeamish about squooshing, just drop them in some water with dishsoap. Then when I've got everything I can see, I'll spray with neem to get anything I've missed.

Nicki :-)


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cool photo by the way.


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Angie - look on the undersides of the leaves. From the top everything looks perfectly fine. Underneath the leaves you'll probably find oodles of caterpillars.

We're trying the "natural" way at first. We took a hose on heavy focus stream and washed away all the eggs first - that wasn't too bad. Then I tried to spray away the caterpillars. That worked on some but most clung on. So I was stuck hand picking them off one by one. I swear there were hundreds of them. Every leaf had 15-20 on its underside. I just finished. All I did was fling them out into the lawn. My hope is our backyard birds will come and quickly eat them and have a treat. Of course there may be right now an army of caterpillars all single-mindedly marching up the porch stairs towards the brossels sprouts ...


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That is a great photo - all various sizes of cabbage worms.


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