Hot, dry weather yields blizzard of butterflies

Cabbage butterflies have taken the province by storm, due to this year's hot weather.

Bugs go through 3-5 generations in 1 summer

Saskatchewan Cabbage Butterflies


6 years ago
This year's hot, dry weather has allowed cabbage butterflies to flourish. 0:34

Cabbage butterflies have taken the province by storm, due to this year's hot, dry weather.

Also known as cabbage moths or cabbage worms, the white, fluttering bugs normally thrive in temperatures ranging from 10 to 35 degrees, said Scott Hartley, an insect specialist with the province's Ministry of the Environment. 

This year poses ideal conditions for them, said Hartley. 

He noted they can cycle through three to five generations in one summer. As their name suggests, they diet on cabbage and any plants in the cabbage family. That means gardeners might have to keep an eye on their plants.

Also, a note to farmers from Hartley: the butterflies attack canola plants, but they go for the vegetation of the plants, and not their pods. That means they will not likely affect the harvest, and there's no need to spray for them.

The blizzard of butterflies means more food for predators, like birds and other insects. Even beetles and small wasps will gorge themselves on the white-winged insects, Hartley said. 

He expects the cabbage-eaters to stick around likely until autumn, when temperatures start dropping to below 10 degrees.

A cabbage butterfly takes a break on a flower in Regina's Wascana Park on Aug. 10, 2015. (Brian Rodgers/CBC)


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