Control With No Insecticides
Handpicking - Handpicking makes a sizable dent in the cabbage looper infestation right away. It is best to attend to the very first worms that appear.
Barriers Using Netting, Cheesecloth, Screening, Or Fleece
Later in the season, when the danger of frost is gone, you can use a material for barriers that allows sun, air, and rain to get through, but prevents the adult cabbage looper moth from getting access to your plants. Nylon netting, fine screening, or fleece covering plants are all effective barriers, preventing cabbage looper moth from laying eggs at the plant's stem. Cover transplants or a newly seeded area with the preferred material immediately, to prevent both insect damage and insect egg-laying which can lead to later damage. Lay the barrier material directly on the plants, seal all the edges to the ground. Leave it on all season or until the summer heat becomes a problem. Provide lots of extra material so when the plants grow larger they don't strain against the covering.
Using Natural Insect Repellents
There are several natural insect repellents that often kill cabbage loopers on contact, but also serves as a repellent by creating a bad taste for the critter and make it go someplace else to munch. Neem Oil Soap, Hot Pepper Wax, and Garlic Barrier all have this potential repellent capability when applied properly on the tops and the bottoms of leaves of the target plant. The repelling effect will last for several weeks to a month depending on the weather conditions. See the Natural Repellents in Yardener's Tool Shed.
Using Natural Insecticides
AzaMax will control this pest insect
AzaMax is a natural product with a broad spectrum of pest control and broad plant applications. AzaMax is an anti-feedant and insect growth regulator which control (kills) pests through starvation and growth disruption within two or three days. Therefore this product is used when the bugger is chomping on the foliage. Any of the sprayers can be used to apply AzaMax
For more information about AzaMax go to the Yardener's Tool Shed; click here
Bacillus thuriengensis (BT) is a bacteria that comes in powder form (used as a dust or as a foliar spray), and kills only leaf-eating caterpillars. Neem oil soap is a natural insecticide that will kill cabbage loopers on contact and then repel new arrivals for about 2 weeks. Pyrethrum is made from chrysanthemum blossoms and is quite effective especially when applied directly to the pest. Go to the Natural Insecticides section in Yardener’s Tool Shed for details on each product.
Using Synthetic Insecticides
WE NO LONGER RECOMMEND SYNTHETIC INSECTICIDES TO CONTROL OR KILL CABBAGE LOOPERS NOW THAT WE HAVE NATURAL ORGANIC SOLUTIONS THAT WORK; E.G. SPINOSAD.