Cabbage worms are the larvae of white butterflies. They are bright green in color and they feed on cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. The white butterfly lays its eggs on the undersides of leaves. When the eggs hatch, they feed on plants until there’s nothing left. There are several other common types of green worms that feed on green veggies. These include cabbage loopers and diamondback worms. These worms are all green in color, but vary in richness. Cabbage loopers are light green but they are the larvae of the brown moth. Diamondback worms are pale green and they are the larvae of the unique gray moth. The gray moth has a diamond shape on its back.
In addition to broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, these green worms also feed on feed on Brussels sprouts and kale. Unfortunately, these worms can do serious damage to plants and crops. Like cabbage worms, these tiny creatures can feed on veggies until there’s nothing left.
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There are ways to prevent cabbage worms and other common green worms from multiplying out of control. Row covers may be used during spring, summer, and when these pests are most prevalent. Placing the heads of plants in a nylon stockings until they are ready for harvesting can also prevent green worms.
Sprays made of insecticidal soap may be effective and you can get rid of cabbage worms in your vegetables and plants by using Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT). BT is a bacterium that kills pests, but it won’t harm your plants. You can purchase BT at most plant stores, hardware stores, and garden centers.
Early detection is another important preventative method. Inspect your plants daily to check for signs of brown or gray moths and white butterflies as well as the eggs, and worms.
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Other Green Worms
There are possibly thousands of different types of green worms, but many of these “worms” are not worms at all. They are caterpillars. Just a few common green worms (caterpillars) include the larvae of the polyphemus moth, the luna moth, promethea moth, green-striped mapleworm, sweetbay silkmoth, cecropia moth, hickery horned devil, and the Io moth. These insects are commonly found in northeastern parts of the U.S.