The cabbage plants growing in your vegetable garden are enticing to an array of pests and bugs that can quickly injure the plant. Identifying the bug that is attacking your cabbage is the first step in effectively eliminating the problem. Using a home remedy to get rid of the bug will be cost-effective and safer than commercial chemical insecticides.
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Aphids and mites on cabbage plants can suck the vital sap from the leaves, leaving the plant weakened, damaged, and susceptible to disease and other bug invasions. Growing companion plants, such as zinnias, nearby will attract ladybugs and other natural predators of aphids. Mint plants also deter aphids and help alleviate the problem before it begins.For a homemade spray to fight aphids, mix 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 cups of water, and 2 teaspoons of dish soap, then spray on the cabbage plant. This spray suffocates the bugs and should be repeated every few days to eliminate newly hatched aphid eggs.
Army worms and cutworms also can invade your cabbage plants. If there are only a few worms, simply pick them off the plant, and squish them. For a more thorough elimination, mix 1 tablespoon dish soap with 1 cup vegetable oil, and 1 cup water. Spray the entire cabbage plant, including the underside of leaves. The mixture will repel the worms from the plant. Self- rising flour is also said to kill worms on cabbage plants. Dust the cabbage with the flour. When the worms ingest the flour, the flour expands and kills the worms.
Moths lay their larvae on cabbage, which is why you see worms feeding on the plants.. Repelling the moths will eliminate future worm problems. Covering your cabbage with garden sun cloth so the moths cannot access the cabbage in one method. Cabbage moths are also territorial, and if they think there are already cabbage moths in the garden, the new moths will find another location to lay eggs. Crush white eggshells, and scatter around your cabbage plants. This will trick the moths, and make them go elsewhere. Growing garlic as a companion plant to your cabbage will also repel the moths.
Slugs and snails can be difficult to detect because the pests' natural feeding time is during the night and early morning. Slugs and snails eat large quantities of your cabbage plant unless deterred or eliminated. Beer poured into saucers and shallow bowls has been a favorite method of killing slugs and snails. The pests are drawn to the beer, crawl into the container, and drown. You will need to continue this method to keep slugs at bay. Salt will also repel slugs and snails from your cabbage plants. Make a 1-inch wide circle of common table salt around your plants. The salt circle should be several inches away from the plant. The few snails and slugs that attempt to cross the salt will soon die because the salt dissolves the pests.
- Colorado State University; Insect Control: Soaps and Detergents; W.S. Cranshaw; May, 2010
- Golden Harvest Organics; Insect Treatments; November, 2010
- Planet Natural; How to Get Rid of Bugs with Organic Methods; Eric Vinje
- University of Illinois: Cabbage
- University of Kentucky; Cabbage Insects; Ric Bessin; January, 2004
At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and Web content for several well-known marketers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.