Friday, September 21, 2012

Common Pests in the Cool Season Garden

This extreme damage is the reason why we care about monitoring our cool-season crops for common area insect pests.  Only a handful of worms likely did all of this damage, essentially ruining the chances of any harvest.  Careful scouting and monitoring, along with some timely, organic controls, is essential in winning the battle against persistent pests.
The best way to predict whether you'll have to deal with these pests is to take a look around in late Summer/early Fall.  If you see any of these "adult" moths/butterflies floating around your existing garden, chances are you'll soon see their nasty off-spring (larval forms).

Cabbage White Butterfly 
Imported Cabbageworm larva

Adult Moth (Trichoplusia ni)

Cabbage Looper
Adult Moth (Evergestis rimosalis) 

Cross-striped Cabbage worm larvae 

One thing you can look for -- hard evidence!  Worm droppings:

Also, keep in mind that tomato hornworms are still out there as well!  They don't just go for tomatoes; they're known for eating almost anything!