Cabbage White Caterpillars in Autumn

As we reach mid-October, the season for Cabbage White butterflies is coming to an end, so the good news is that they shouldn’t be laying many more eggs from now on. That said, any caterpillars that already hatched will be having a field day. Joyfully, you should be able to do one final check and then you can rest easy for the remainder of the season.

Give yourself half an hour or so to remove any netting and inspect your brassica plants:

  • kale
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • brussels sprouts
  • turnips
  • swede

Remove any caterpillars you find, and wipe off any eggs with some kitchen paper. Be sure to check the undersides of leaves which is where you will find most! Of course, holes in the leaves are a dead giveaway for caterpillars, so if you’re in a rush, just check those leaves that look nibbled.

Once you’ve done a thorough check, you can either replace the netting (wise, if the plants are young & especially if you have pigeons in your area) or leave it off (should be fine as long as pigeons aren’t a problem and as long as you are sure you haven’t seen any cabbage whites flitting around in the past few days!)

Hopefully, this will be the last time you need to worry about them this year, so it is a job worth doing well.