Friday, 13 November 2015

Problem Area - Plant Pests ... Cabbage White Butterfly

Good Morning!
Welcome to my next post related to Problem Areas. Currently I am focusing on Pests!
What exactly is a Plant Pest? 
A Plant Pest gains it's nutritional requirements from the host plant it feeds upon. 
There are various ways which it can gain it's sustenance but broadly speaking it either eats or sucks a plant's sap.
It's a good idea to take note of a pests life cycle as they are more vulnerable at certain stages.

The Cabbage White is something that can cause real frustration to many gardeners!
As the name suggests they are particularly attracted to Cabbages.

Photo from Google.

A Cabbage White Butterfly starts life as eggs laid on the underside of a cabbage leaf. The larvae then proceed to feed on the host plant. The larva gradually turn into Caterpillars then when they have reached maturity attach themselves to a leaf or stalk to pupate. When the pupae matures the wings become visable and a butterfly emerges.

The larvae and Caterpillars feed on the host plants and damage can be seen on the foliage. The larvae of the Small White feed on the centre of plants on their own. The larvae of the Large White feed in colonies and can cause the most damage.

Photo from Google.

If like me you like to garden Organically there are a few things you can do -
* A layer of protective fleece or film can be laid over your crops creating a barrier preventing the adults laying their eggs. Obviously this is only effective before the pest has arrived.
* Pick off and remove Eggs, Larvae and Caterpillars once spotted.
* Encourage natural predators.

There is also Chemical control available.

* PLEASE NOTE - Try not to confuse the Cabbage White with a different Butterfly species.

I hope you have found this interesting and helpful if any of you come across this particular pest!

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