Uninvited guests for dinner: Managing the cabbage worm

| April 11, 2016

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This week’s script from Cameroon features a farmer who manages pests in his vegetable crop by making his own biopesticide from the neem tree. Spraying a biopesticide is just one of the many ways that farmers can manage agricultural pests without using chemical pesticides. Our Script of the week lists a variety of non-chemical ways to control a very common pest, the cabbage worm.

Would you share your dinner with someone who has 20 legs? Would you share your dinner with someone who steals from you? Probably not, but this may be happening to you right now. In your garden, the hungry cabbage worm is busy eating part of your dinner.

The cabbage worm eats cabbage, collards, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard, kale, and other plants in the cabbage family. It also feeds on turnips and radishes. It has a velvety skin that is the same green colour as the leaves of many plants. It has one or more thin orange or yellow stripes down its back, and is about half the length of your thumb in size.

There are lots of things you can do to stop sharing your dinner with the cabbage worm. Many of these things are safe, easy, and don’t cost much.

Our Script of the week presents a list of these pest management practices, including rotating your crops, hand-picking the worms, using sticky traps, planting crops whose smell repels the pest, or using natural pesticides made from neem or garlic.