Cabbage White Butterfly

photo: telegraph
Latest Update 20th August 2016.

Cabbage White Butterfly.
  • Butterflies are great pollinators.  They travel further than honeybees and are much more likely to cross-pollinate fruiting trees growing some distance apart.  To this extent, they are beneficial insects in my garden.
  • Of course the downside is their larvae, whose whole purpose in life seems to be to destroy my vegetables especially the brassicas.
  • Fortunately exclusion netting is an effective way to keep them off without exterminating them in the process, and the built in exclusion frame and netting used on my Ecobeds is particularly effective.
  • The only downside is that exclusion netting keeps pollinators out of the bed as well, and if you want to save seeds you have to consider growing a plant or two in a dedicated area accessible to pollinators. 
Details.
  • Binomial Name                                          Pieris Rapae  
  • Family:                                                      Lycaenidae.
Why Cabbage White Butterfly is a Pest.
  • The larvae of cabbage white butterflies can devastate brassicas if allowed free range in your vegetable garden.  To a lesser extent they will also attack legumes and solanaceae.  
Pest Control.
  • Exclusion netting is my preferred cabbage white butterfly deterrent, but if you are slack and let some through, a good second line of defence is commercially available, environmentally friendly, Bacillus Thuringiensis sprayed onto the plants leaves.  
  • This soil dwelling natural bacterium produces toxins in the guts of caterpillars when ingested, stopping them feeding and killing them in 3-4 days.