Invaded by Caterpillars?

Answered by Harrod Horticultural Posted in Category Pest Control & Nature

Dear Martin

I am a very new and very inexperienced gardener and grower of vegetables (as organically as possible). This years winter crop of cabbages, kale and swedes etc were devastated by a plague of caterpillars and I so I have come to understand the significance of white butterflies!?   Accordingly I was interested in your aluminium vegetable cage (GDN-195) which I would need in a size about 2.5 x 2.5 metres to cover a raised bed that would be devoted to the vegetables that are vulnerable to this kind of attack. However I am unclear as to whether (for guaranteed protection) the frame should be covered in ordinary mesh, enviromesh, or fleece? I am also unclear as whether any necessary joining of the covering material is a DIY job, or something that you would undertake? I should be really grateful for your help and advice.    

Regards Laurie 

Dear Laurie

Many thanks for your enquiry regarding the defence of your crops against cabbage white butterflies and their caterpillar larvae. We suffered at the hands of the same pest in our own Kitchen Garden this year as we had the standard anti-bird netting on our cage for slightly too long, and the butterflies easily slipped through and laid eggs on our brassicas!   However, after replacing this netting with the 10mm mesh heavyweight Butterfly netting (product code GDN-077), we did not record one butterfly inside the cage.

We observed plenty landing on the netting and laying eggs on the leaves which were in contact with the net – we made the mistake of trying to place too many plants into the cage – but they could not squeeze through the mesh.   We are able to provide the aluminium vegetable cage (product code GDN-195) complete with the heavyweight butterfly netting, cut and joined where necessary – this is an extra 10% on the price of the cage.  

To be totally sure that no butterflies can enter the cage, you may wish to use the enviromesh netting. As we previously stated however, the butterfly netting is perfectly acceptable and does not compromise the available light; although enviromesh does have good light transmission properties, it is obviously not as clear as the butterfly netting. If you are intending to use the enviromesh, please contact us for a quotation. The fleece is not required.  

Hopefully this information will prove to be of help; if of course you have any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Many thanks once again for your enquiry.   

Martin