Holes in the leaves of cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, and other cole crops are a telltale sign of caterpillar feeding. The term ‘cole crops’ is a common name for vegetables in the cabbage family. Also known as brassicas or crucifers, this group includes many of our favorite fall vegetables, such as cabbage, kale, collards, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, turnips, rutabaga, and kohlrabi.
While generally easy to grow, vegetables in this family are prone to a few pest problems, the most common of which is caterpillars. Fortunately caterpillars are relatively easy to control, though early detection and treatment is important to prevent serious crop damage. In addition, organic products are most effective if applied when caterpillars are small.