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Pia
Can you use tomato dust to kill caterpillars on broccoli family?

I have a problem with white butterfly caterpillars on my broccoli family plants, and a nursery employee advised me to use tomato dust. Is this right? Also, I encourage my children to help in the vegie patch, and sometimes they pick off broccoli leaves and eat them. Will the tomato dust harm them? Ultimately I'd prefer not to use synthetic chemicals, but I can't seem to shake these caterpillars.

Submitted: 05:17PM, 13 Oct 2011
Answer: Hi Pia,
Tomato dust contains Spinosad which is effective against caterpillars. Spinosad is derived from naturally occurring soil bacteria and is considered to have a very low toxicity. Always ask the children to wash the leaves and vegetables prior to eating them.
The caterpillars can also be picked off by hand and they are easily seen on the underside of the leaves sometimes along the mid vein.
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Answered: 02:00PM, 17 Oct 2011

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