The Small Cabbage White Butterfly, Public Enemy Number One in my Garden

Recently I turned over several sections of the garden to replace some of the heat loving summer plants that were dying off with some Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and cabbages that thrive in the cooler fall weather. I missed the boat this Spring and got them into the ground way too late. Lesson learned, and even though I got them in a little behind schedule for fall, I still have time for a nice crop to grow.

Yesterday I noticed something was foiling my plans for fresh cauliflower and broccoli. I’ve always seen little holes in the leaves, but they were minor, and not worth the hassle. I don’t use pesticide and generally keep an eye out for interlopers, but I’ve never had much of a problem. Now I have a problem! Almost overnight, two cauliflower plants had been eaten almost entirely. It was time for a closer inspection and to take counter measures to protect my crops.

He was a hard little bugger to spot, hiding right on the vein running down the middle of the chewed up leaf. I gently picked him up along with several friends and threw them into the grass. I’ll let the birds do my bidding!


I remembered coming across a post about someone trying to keep the white butterflies away from their cabbages. Pieris rapae – The Small Cabbage White Butterfly. I’d seen them fluttering around my plants, beautiful in their simplicity when contrasted against the colors of my garden. Little did I know the horrors that they wrought. I think next year I’ll get some fine netting over my plants to keep them at bay.

I’ll still enjoy seeing them flutter around the garden, it’s their offspring that is not welcome!

They do have a beautiful pattern, I’ll give them that.

Close Up

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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