Probably no other vegetable attracts so many icky insects as the cabbage family. If the larvae aren’t feeding on the leaves, the adults are laying their eggs on them or worse. Yuck.
There’s not much you can do to avoid these pests, other than covering your plants with floating row covers. The row covers work well, but you need to plant all your cole crops together or you’ll be spending a lot of time cutting squares.
However there is one trick for repelling cabbage loopers that is much easier.
Cabbage loopers (Trichoplusia ni) may act like inch worms, but they are no relation. They give inch worms a bad name. They skip arithmetic and go straight to multiplication.
Loopers is a Silly Name for a Destructive Pest
Loopers look a lot like other green cabbage worms, except they don’t have any legs in the midsection of their bodies, , like an inch worm, so they move their front section and then play catch up with the rear. Unlike the brazen imported cabbage worm, loopers tend to feed on the undersides of leaves, where they go unnoticed.
One Less Pest to Put Up With
These are one of my most reviled garden pests because they don’t limit themselves to the cabbage family. They’ll eat just about anything. But they don’t like the smell of cedar. So if you can find some small cedar branches or real cedar mulch or chips, sprinkle them around your cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and any other cole crop that’s in peril and cut down on at least one if the cabbage foes.