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Cabbage centre grub

Further reports and a number of identifications have been made of cabbage centre grubs (Hellula sp.). Cabbage centre grub caterpillars have been confirmed for agronomist, Lori McWhirter (NSW DPI), who reported grubs attacking turnips near Crookwell, in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. Lori reports the damage is quite severe and that chemical control is required.

Agronomist, Sandy Biddulph (Biddulph Rural Consulting), has reported cabbage centre grubs in a grazing rape paddock west of Cootamundra, in the South West Slopes of New South Wales. They are attacking 10-20% of plants that are severely drought affected. Sandy says cabbage centre grubs were found in the same area last season where they caused some damage. Agronomist, Dave Elworthy (Landmark), has also found cabbage centre grubs attacking forage rape crops at Gundagai, in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. There are several grubs per plant, and given the recent rainfall and evidence of feeding damage, Dave says the crops are likely to be sprayed.

Cabbage centre grubs attack canola and other brassica crops, where they tunnel into the growing points of the plants. To monitor crops, inspect leaves for feeding damage and the presence of characteristic silken webbing which cabbage centre grubs use to bind leaves together. If spraying is necessary, esfenvalerate is registered in forage rape crops and reported to provide a good level of control.

Caterpillars are a creamish colour with dark heads, grow up to 12 mm long and have longitudinal reddish-brown stripes along the body. Adult moths are about 12 mm long with light and dark brown markings. They are rapid fliers and hold their wings horizontally when resting.

Click here for images and refer to PestFacts Issue No.12 for further information.

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