Cabbage White Caterpillar and Butterfly
The cabbage white caterpillar and butterfly can wreak havoc on your cabbage and mustard family crops. The butterfly lays the eggs on your plants. The caterpillars eat your leaves and can bore inside.
Life Cycle of Cabbage White Caterpillar and Butterfly
One of the best-known garden insects and worst pests of cabbage is the common cabbage worm whose parent is the white butterfly. The butterflies are observed hovering over cabbages and cauliflowers all through the summer.
Small yellow eggs are laid on foliage and hatch in 4-8 days. The velvety green worms grow very rapidly, eating large, irregular holes in the leaves of the plants. The pupae overwinter on old cabbage stumps and rubbish in fields.
Cabbage White Butterfly
By itself the cabbage white butterfly is not a pest.
It doesn’t eat or damage your plants. The issue is the butterfly comes into the garden and looks for fresh, hearty leaves to lay its eggs on. As the eggs mature, they become caterpillars that eat all your leaves
What The Cabbage White Butterfly Looks Like
The butterfly can be distinguished by the white or creamy white coloring and small black dots on its wings.
Watch Where It Lands in Your Yard
If you see the butterfly landing in your yard, be on the lookout where it is landing. Check for eggs and remove them from your plants to protect them from a caterpillar infestation.
Normally, the butterfly will drop one, single, light white or orange colored egg on a leaf.
Cabbage White Caterpillar
The caterpillars hatch from eggs and start eating all the leaves on your plants. Creating holes everywhere and at times, entire plants.
Have An Infestation of Caterpillars?
If you have an infestation of caterpillars eating your plants and would like to know how to get rid of them, I covered that under “What is Eating My Garden Plants.”
Now You Know The Importance of Being Able To ID These Insects
Being able to id the butterfly will allow you to see if the insect is visiting your plants. Chances are that if the butterfly has visited your garden plants you must search for eggs she may have left.
If the eggs are left to hatch, you can lose entire crops to hungry caterpillars. Once you have the caterpillars, you will need to rid your garden of them quickly.