White Butterfly

What is the cabbage butterfly

Cavolaia, also called rapaiola, is actually a butterfly whose wings are totally white with the presence of two circular black spots on the front wings. This butterfly belongs to the Pieridae family and lives during the day. For the luck of the growers it is easily identifiable thanks to its appearance. During the winter months the Cabbage it turns into a chrysalis sheltering inside spaces in trees or hiding places away from bad weather. The main action of the butterfly is to lay the eggs on the lower leaves of the plant. This position is chosen for a specific reason: when the eggs hatch from them the pupae come out and start towards the ground. Here, in the cozy terrain, the pupae can finally give life to the larvae. These little creatures are typical of a worm with a long green body covered with black spots, and a yellow line appears on the back. The larvae are voracious and devour all that they find in their path, sometimes coming to dig tunnels inside the trunk of the plant. The two plants most affected are the cabbage and the turnip, in fact the moth takes its name from these two crops. The other crops affected by this butterfly are the radish, the broccoli, the cabbage and the rocket. The time of year when the Cabbage acts and deposits its eggs it is found between the spring and autumn months, or better between March and October.

Damage caused by the cabbage butterfly

This moth can be responsible for the death of the plant. Once the eggs have been laid, after the hatching and the larvae are released, the main damage to the plant is found on the lower leaves. On these parts the larvae carry out a process of elimination devouring the whole part of the foliage. The larvae eat the leaves completely, though not reaching the larger parts. In an advanced phase of colonization, the larvae are able to dig real tunnels within the plant stem, consequently in this stage of the infection, the plant is seriously compromised and can reach death. The cabbage whites they are more widespread in the presence of uncultivated land and untreated gardens, because a good prevention and a continuous vision of the plants reduces its action.

How to recognize it

As mentioned above, the appearance of the cabbage cow does not vary, it always has the typical white color broken by the presence of two small black spots on the front wings. Depending on the time of year, however, its color may be altered to become darker or lighter. In winter its white color can be quite greyish with black streaks, while in summer the color that characterizes its wings is more vibrant. The larvae and pupae are present on the plant throughout the year, if the cabbage was able to deposit the eggs. Both the pupae and the larvae are camouflaged: the first are positioned on the stem and branches of the plant covered by vegetation, while the larvae hide in the ground, covered in turn by the lower leaves. Very recognizable are the eggs that lay the cabbage butterfly. The eggs are characterized by a yellow-brown color, are oval in shape and, although tiny, are visible to the human eye.

Cavolaia: Defense and plant care

As with any other pathogenic agent or disease that affects plants, proper prevention is also necessary for the cabbage plant to avoid future or irreversible damage to plants. First you need to reduce watering by not giving water to the plant using a rain system. Subsequently, the ground is one of the elements to be checked periodically; it must be properly drained in order to avoid water stagnation. As for an excellent preventive attack, close to the various types of plants attacked by the cabbage branch such as radish, broccoli, cabbage, turnip and so on, just plant the mint. The mint plant has the ability to remove the cabbage whites acting as an excellent natural repellent; in this way the butterfly is removed and at the same time the vegetable is not sprinkled with polluting or artificial substances. If you suddenly notice the presence of the eggs on the leaves of the plant, they can be removed with cotton balls. Cotton balls should be used on the leaves, gently removing the eggs. Once the eggs have been removed, all the areas in which they lived must be disinfected and treated with specific substances.