Certain bugs plaguing Brussels sprouts include caterpillars, cabbage root fly, flea beetles, aphids, cabbage maggots, thrips, webworms, e.t.c. Aphids are difficult to manage and are controlled by starting early enough using a very strict control program. Explained below are ways by which you can keep bugs off Brussel sprouts.
How to keep bugs off Brussels sprouts
1) Plant tagetes or marigolds with your Brussel sprouts
Companion planting helps in controlling pests and works by attracting beneficial insects which feed on the aphids, such as ladybirds and some particular flies. Kale, Turnip, or mustard plants attract beneficial insects which feed on harlequin bugs.
Tip: learn more about Brussels sprouts companion plants
2) Apply insecticides
This should be done early in the season when the risk of killing beneficial insects is lower. Wash the leaves every week using insecticidal, fatty-acid soaps according to recommended dosages.
Rinse the plants afterward, using a strong stream of water, and then spray with an organic pesticide containing neem oil. Do this weekly as the effects of the soap and neem oil only stay for a day or two days.
3) Have an aluminum foil placed underneath the plants
This reflects light against the leaves’ undersides, heating them and putting the bugs in an uncomfortable situation.
4) Use parasitic wasps
These insects lay eggs inside the aphids and cause the death of the aphids, forming a brown, crusty case referred to as a mummy. Once mummies begin forming on the plants, the aphids remaining time is short-lived. The wasp also causes parasitization of the diamondback moths, causing harm to a large percentage of them.
Read also: What attacks Brussel Sprouts?
5) Spread garden fabric or floating row covers over the Brussel sprouts
This will help in deterring flea beetles, which are tiny beetles and jump like fleas. With regular showing, the soil around d your plants are kept clear of eggs and larvae. This as well gives protection for the plants against cabbage worms.
6) Using Bacillus thuringiensis
Bacillus Thuringiensis otherwise known as Bt, kill cabbage worms and loopers. Bt is a biological insecticide sold under different brand names. Spray the plants using Bt right from the time you transplant them until they are ready for harvest.
6) Also, you can protect young plants from cutworms by putting a collar around the plants
To prevent flying insect damage, use a net or row cover over the crop. You can also practice crop rotation to avoid some of the common insect larvae that live in the soul and consume foliage and roots.
7) Snails and slugs eat up leaves
You can control them by setting beer traps at the soil level to attract and drown the snails and slugs.
8) Use organic chemicals
You can control bugs on your Brussel sprouts by using organic chemicals like bt or Dipel for cabbage worms. You can as well, sprinkle some flour on them and repeat it after rain, or you can use 2 teaspoons of cayenne powder per 2 gallons of water on your plants a couple of times a week or perhaps after every rain. This last technique works well like others but might acidify the soil.
I hope you find this article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions about getting rid of bugs on Brussels sprouts.