Cabbage loopers and diamondback worms are two of the most common types of worms that eat veggies. They are green in color, but the richness of the color depends on the type of worm. For example, 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 gray moth. The gray moth has a diamond shape on its back.
Cabbage loopers and diamondback worms have a strong appetite for broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower. Because their appetites are so hearty, these vegetable eating worms do serious damage to plants and crops. Although small, these creatures will continue to eat the veggies until there’s nothing left. Fortunately, there are ways to control cabbage looper and diamondback worm populations in your garden and crops.
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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.
Insecticidal soap may be effective if you lightly spray it around crops, or you can get use 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 a good way to prevent these pests from multiplying out of control. All you have to do is inspect your plants daily to check for signs of brown or gray moths and white butterflies as well as their eggs, and worms.
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Other Types of Green Worms
There are 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 (Automeris io). These insects are commonly found in the northeastern parts of the U.S.