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Cabbage Whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella)

Cabbage Whitefly
Unfortunately both the adult and the larvae of Cabbage Whitefly enjoy munching their way through the entire brassica family with cabbages and turnips being especially affected. 

Another danger from Cabbage Whitefly is the sticky excretions they leave behind. This often becomes infected with black mould. Very similar to standard whitefly, but the Cabbage Whitefly only attack the brassica family 

The adults are white, tiny, moth-like insects, the young larvae are oval and scaly. The feed on the sap of plants, principally on the underside of leaves. They are distinctive because when disturbed, the adults will fly away only to return after a short time. 


How to Treat Cabbage Whitefly
Before reaching for the chemicals, the good news is that if the infestation is not too bad, little damage will be done. The Cabbage Whitefly tends to go for the outer leaves of cabbage, leaving the tastier 'heart' relatively unaffected.

If treatment is needed, first try spraying with very diluted washing up liquid. This often works.

If that doesn't work, spray with 'permethrin' but follow the instructions on the packet carefully. This chemical is said to be safe in low doses (it is used in the UK as a treatment for scabies and head lice) but the dose varies by product. It is available at almost all garden centres and DIY stores.

An alternative - mainly for the greenhouse - is the predator wasp Encarsia formosa, available at many garden centres nowadays.