What can I spray on brussel sprouts for worms?

Answered by Tom Adger

When it comes to dealing with worms on Brussels sprouts, there are several options for spraying that can help control and eliminate these pests. One effective method is to create a homemade insecticide soap solution. To make this solution, you will need to mix 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of Ivory soap in 1 quart of water.

This homemade insecticide soap solution works by suffocating and repelling the worms on your Brussels sprouts. The cooking oil helps to coat the worms and block their respiratory system, ultimately causing their demise. The baking soda acts as a natural deterrent, making the leaves less appealing for the worms to feed on. The soap helps to emulsify the mixture and ensures it adheres to the leaves of the plant.

To apply the homemade insecticide soap solution, use a spray bottle and thoroughly coat both the upper and lower surfaces of the Brussels sprout leaves. It’s important to spray in the early morning or late evening when the temperature is cooler, as this will minimize any potential damage to the plant. Repeat the application every few days or after rainfall to ensure effectiveness.

Another option to consider is using biocontrol agents specifically designed to target worms on Brussels sprouts. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a type of naturally occurring bacteria that produces toxins harmful to many types of worms and caterpillars. Spinosad is another biocontrol agent derived from soil bacteria that can effectively control worms and caterpillars.

These biocontrol agents can be purchased as ready-to-use sprays and should be applied according to the instructions on the product label. It’s important to note that these biocontrol agents are specific to worms and caterpillars and are generally considered safe for beneficial insects and humans.

In addition to spraying, it’s also beneficial to implement cultural practices to reduce the likelihood of worm infestations on your Brussels sprouts. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of worms or caterpillars and manually remove them if found. Properly disposing of any infested plant material can help prevent the spread of the pests.

Furthermore, maintaining a healthy and balanced garden ecosystem can also help prevent worm infestations. Encouraging natural predators such as birds, ladybugs, and lacewings can help keep worm populations in check. Avoiding the use of broad-spectrum insecticides that harm beneficial insects is also crucial.

When dealing with worms on Brussels sprouts, spraying a homemade insecticide soap solution or using biocontrol agents like Bacillus thuringiensis or spinosad can effectively control and eliminate these pests. Implementing cultural practices and maintaining a healthy garden ecosystem can also help prevent future infestations. Remember to always read and follow the instructions on product labels for safe and effective use.