doodle by andre: it’s an infestation!
NOTHING QUITE AS GROSS (can I use that word–gross–that exasperated my parents during my teen years?) as a worm in a cabbage. Ugh. And then some. Like I said, gross. But they’re just part of the deal, aren’t they–some other creature looking for dinner inside the thing you were looking to eat for dinner.
Starting in spring, I see the smallish white butterflies with smudgy spots on their wings–called cabbage whites, the adult stage of the imported cabbage worm–a signal that the cycle is beginning again. They are often one of the first butterflies to fly here each season.
Growing crucifers under fabric row cover can reduce the opportunities for egg-laying. I then hand-pick worms that did manage to get hatched on any plants–another effective, non-toxic tactic that works if you check your plants daily, and merely have a home-garden-sized plot. Those steps, plus the needs for extra-careful fall cleanup of any cabbage-relative garden debris, is all outlined in this story.
Thanks, Andre Jordan, for the reminder of one small facet of the food chain. Gross–and intricately delightful in its curious way, too.