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.
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