I've encountered many pesky pests in my time and until recently I didn't count the cabbage white butterfly among them. If anything I thought of them as more of a plaything for our cat Jess, who likes nothing better to chase them as they flit about the garden.
However, my attitude towards them this year has changed because I've decided to grow cabbages for the first time*, red cabbages to be precise as I'm really missing the red cabbage and juniper berry concoction which used to be served up at work from time to time.
Owing to the drought and concrete like conditions up at the plot, I started my seeds off in modules at home. I'm pleased I did for another reason: it's allowed me to keep a good eye on the seedlings and to watch out for the cabbage white butterflies muscling in on them. Here you can see no less than 2 types of eggs: the clustered ones have been laid by a large whites and the paler, solitary ones by the small white. You'll also see that I've been a bit tardy in my vigilance as some of the eggs have already hatched out into tiny caterpillars. From my later observations egg to caterpillar can take as little as 24 hours, so regular inspection and egg/caterpillar removal is required before these critters can really get down to business.
I'll be transplanting these out in the allotment soon: I need to construct my protective hoops first, which will then be draped with horticultural fleece to keep the cabbage whites and that other pesky pest the pigeon at bay.
* = which shocked Threadspider considerably last week as she knows all about my 'no grow' attitude towards Brassicas owing to NAH's hatred towards everything in the cabbage family **
** = though shhhh, don't tell him that rocket is a Brassica as he loves the stuff