White Moths in the Garden. Is the larve a problem?

TaylorM(6 NE Mass)July 10, 2005

I've been away alot this spring and summer, so I must admit the garden has been on its own alot.

Although last year I almost killed everything by trying to kill the insects that were eating everything especially the Sand Cherry Bush/Trees...so maybe I should leave well enough alone this year! :)

That said, I have alot of white months in the perennials. I tried to get a photo, but they are too quick for me..not too large either.

Should I be worried about their larve or them?

Thanks. Taylor

PS. I'm hoping to make it to Tranquil Nursery next week. Last year was great.

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galileo(z5 MA)

Those white butterflies are the bane of vegetable gardeners because they lay their eggs on cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower. The eggs hatch into juicy caterpillars. I'm not that keen on protein with my cabbage.

As we're not willing to spray to eradicate them, we stopped planting those vegetables. Now the butterflies flit about doing no harm and looking quite summery.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabbage white butterfly

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 4:38PM
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TaylorM(6 NE Mass)

Gosh, when the perennial tag says the perennial attracts "butterflies" I was hoping to have something with a little color and not looking like a moth. :)

Fortunately, I don't have any cabbages or the like, so perhaps the flowers will be fine.

Thank you. Taylor

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 10:33PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Yes, they ate my Brussels Sprouts so badly, I gave up and pulled them all up. :o(

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 7:16PM
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If you have cabbage moths in your veggie garden, the caterpillars are pretty easy to get rid of or prevent by nontoxic means. Bt, a bacterial that's specific to caterpillars, is effective on them, but doesn't harm other insects or birds, mammals, amphibians, etc. (When sprayed or dusted on the plants, the caterpillars eat it and immediately lose their appetite, although they don't die immediately.) Also, I've had pretty good preventive success by spraying with a homemade concoction of a combination of mint and onion and/or garlic. Blenderize the herbs with water, strain, add a drop or two of dishsoap or some milk to help it stick to the leaves, and then spray on your plants. I think the strong smells confuse the butterflies so they don't lay eggs. I also hand pick the caterpillars into a bucket of soapy water. Find them by looking for where there are holes in the leaves above fresh frass (caterpillar poop) since their color is identical to the leaves so they are hard to see. I love broccoli, so I'm willing to spend time defending them from the cabbage moths!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 9:46AM
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JoanofPa(z6 Pa)

wondering if this is my problem. It is mostly cauliflower that gets eaten. Spring plants were shot so I went for fall cauliflower and someone said get a floating cover to protect. Well I just peeked under the cover and cauliflower is worse than ever. Actually lacey looking. But I do notice that there are "puddles" of little black things laying en masse on bottom leaves. Any ideas if this is moth related?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 7:16PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Sounds like the cabbage looper butterfly (cabbage butterfly). It's the white butterfly with the black spot on each lower wing. The caterpillers eat anything in the cabbage family -- kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 3:00PM
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I have an infestation of bugs on my wood house, they are grey striped, the females are like a bug, they lay tiny clusters of silver eggs, the males turn into lightgrey, almost white moths, we have sprayed soap and water and salt mix on the house, but they are hatching out like crazy! I have lived in Utah for 20 years , have never seen them, plus so many thousands of bugs, eggs, It is below freezing now, and they are still coming back for more! The bug guy we took them to has never seen them before! They are everywhere! And no matter how many I kill, they keep coming back. They seem to like wood best of all, please help me identify what they are, so we know what to do next. Thanks Bryan UT

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 3:46AM
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Bryan, for starters you're asking the wrong people. It would make much more sense to raise this matter with gardeners from your area.

Having said that, if you can post a picture (or a link to one) I might be at least able to give you an idea as to the insect order or family the insect is in. That won't help you all that much necessarily, but it will allow you to talk intelligently to someone more experienced than I in the insects that show up in your part of the USA.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 9:12PM
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