Green Worms In Your Broccoli? Me too!

So yesterday morning I wake up, get my coffee and go to check on my garden like I do most mornings. I was especially concerned yesterday however, because of a heat wave that was going to hit us. I wanted to be sure that my veggies had enough water and didn’t burn.

You can imagine my surprise to see that something had been eating my broccoli and cauliflower. Flipping over the leaves revealed the dirty thief, little green worms. Amazed that this tiny little worm could cause so much damage I had to double check.

So off to my laptop I went to search Google. Sure enough other people have experienced the same problem. While there was mention of a bacteria that you can use to control these worms, most people think the best way to rid your broccoli of them is to pick them off.

So the last two nights I have been out with my flashlight picking worm. So far it has been working well. I am going to get rid of these green worms!

I’ll keep you posted. Please subscribe.

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15 thoughts on “Green Worms In Your Broccoli? Me too!

  1. I too am picking off the little green blighters. Wondered if garlic in water put in a spray woukld help? Would love to hear some more natural remedies. Not sure where we would get cedar chips or oil. I’m in Oz, so would love to hear suggestions.

  2. Hi, Lovely site, thank-you so much for all your dedication and help to all! I am plagued by so many pests in my veggie gardens this yera, well since last yera with many fungi on fruit trees too… the climactic changes are wreaking havoc IMO. Anyway, I had to remove some apples, and now crab apple and peaches due to fungal dis. that is pretty common in New england but now my blueberry bishes have blueberry rust, and from all I have read that’s not so eaey to get rid of and they cant be sold or ingested? ANyone have a good safe soln for this> I too have green worms in the brocolli, and something is eating all pepper leaves, etc. When I planted bok choy last year, it drwe the slugs like mad so this yer I put it in a tub instead, but Ii bought it too late and it just flowered. I sved it and got nice seeds today for next year.. I am rtrying lots of companion gardening however so far the recoendations of mint, sage, beets, onion and garlic chives, etc are doing zip for my brocoli green worms. I tried soap and water with a tad of Murphy;s Oil Soap..now am looking for a better solution pardon theh pun. G
    I dont have any cedar oil now but will try the biodegradable soap, and water with NEEm as I have that, and see what hapens. I think natural preditors are a great thing but they dont always accomodate even if you plant the things they dine on…the BT does sound good but need to look into it abit..it works on the premise of probiotics in human GI tract, and proper ones do help on that vein depending on the situation of course. I hope I dont lose my way back here. I wonder how your brocolli is doing now all? ANd if we can talk about other veggies and plants etc? Thank you all for your efforts here. Cher

  3. Solution for the little green worms, I mixed dishwashing liquid and water up to half way on a spray bottle. I added about 1/2 tsp each of NEEM OIl and CEDAR OIL. Shake well and spray broccoili and cauliflower in the evening. I did this once a week and more often if it rains. I picked a large amount of broccoli today and only 3 worms. The Neem Oil and Cedar Oil can be obtained from Nitron Industries in Fayetteville, AR. Check out their web site.

  4. You should cover the plants with cheese cloth or sheer fabric to keep the moths from laying eggs on the plants. This prevents the worms and makes your broccoli ORGANIC!

  5. My grandmother always had a huge garden. She put out a saucer of beer for the slugs and that would draw them out and kill them!!!

  6. I also had the little green demons present I discovered then this morning I was killing them manually I don’t have that many broccoli plants so that will work for me until it flowers, then I will be putting nylons over the heads and using soap
    after that

    I also have Corn,Tomato’s,Onions,Squash, String Beans,and Carrots there all starting to produce and look great I added Snail pellets and miracle grow thats about it and lots of water..

  7. Does anyone know the name of this worm/moth/bug? I have them too; I have been successful by picking. I squish some but the big juice ones I like to put in the bird feeder in hopes that the birds will start seeking them out.

  8. I have the same problem-I used some warm soapy water and it seemed to kill them off within a few minutes, but there were more back the next day-I’m not 100% convinced about Bacillus Thuringiensis, yet.

  9. I was blanching broccoli to make soup a couple of weeks ago and noticed them in the hot water. Ick….are they harmful if ingested? They seem to be hard to see at first.

  10. Thisis my first year of planting move then tomatoe, peppers, and basil. I have put in peas, broccoli, potatoes & watermelon. After reading these articals I am going to keep a very close eye on these darn worms and bug. Thak you all for your help.
    With the prices of food these days it’s hard to keep up. I will be keeping some of what I have planted for my family but the rest will go to my food pantry that I am adminstrator of.

  11. Guess what I found on my broccoli today. I was too late with the cedar chips! I thougth I had time but I guess I was wrong. I rubbed off the little tikes and spray them with some sort of garlic spray.

    If the spray does not work, I will try your soap idea.

    I also found a baby slug in broad daylight, which is really weird since I only find them at night. I hate slugs. I do not know why they are around except for frogs to eat them!

  12. Hi Anna,
    Fantastic idea about using cedar chips in a bowl around your broccoli! Let us know if it works. I am actually going to post a few more alternatives to commercial pesticides and the hot pepper spray is one of them. It works great for ants as well.
    Thanks for the tips and I hope you will stop by often.

  13. I actually have this problem every year. I see the white moths floating away and I know I am going to have trouble. I used a product from Whole Foods then I used BT to stop them. My friend told me this year to use a red pepper spray will keep the moths away. I have seen this mixture on the web.

    I am going to try a bowl of cedar mulch near the plants since cedar repells moths. My neighbor uses organic cedar mulch and she swears the moths won’t come near her broccoli. I was a little worried using mulch around my veggies even if they said it was organic, so I am trying a bowl with the mulch. We will see if it works this year…Anna http://www.green-talk.com

  14. Hi Sunbuddha,
    Thanks for stopping by! What I did was everyday first thing in the morning and at dusk I would pick them off for about a week. If at the end of the week you are still finding quite a few then keep doing it until you only find one or two. Now I go out about 3 times a week and inspect the leaves. Sometime I will find couple sometimes I won’t find any. Be sure to look on the underside of the leaves.
    I found this method is very effective and not too time consuming.
    However if you don’t have time to investigate that often or if you aren’t finding the picking method effective, there are a couple of other things you can try.
    Mix about 2 tbsp of biodegradable soap with water in a squirt bottle. Spray on the top and underside of the leaves. This will kill the larvae. Be careful however because soap sprays have been know to burn plants if you apply too much.
    Also Neem Oil is effective at keeping them away.
    There is also something called Bacillus Thuringiensis, or BT. You can get it in a spray called Dipel.
    I’ve never used it, so I can’t tell it works or not. I don’t know a whole lot about it, but I do know that a lot of organic gardeners recommend it. I would be careful when used around earthworms.
    Good luck and I hope you will stop by again.

  15. WOW, thanks for that writeup. I googled it and found your blog looking for a solution for these little bastards that are eating the leaves and the heads of my beloved broccoli. I will start picking them off tonight, but won’t they return? Is this a battle I will be fighting all summer?

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