It’s about as close to snow in August as you’ll find in Regina–a spike in the number of Cabbage Butterflies.
The white fluttery insect seems to be everywhere in the city.
“[It’s] totally anecdotal. I don’t know of anybody who tracks them. It just has been very noticeable this year,” revealed insect specialist Scott Hartley with the Ministry of Agriculture.
He figures the extended warm, dry weather has a lot to do with the believed surge.
“It’s not totally uncommon, just seems to be a lot this year and it’s been a few years since we’ve had as warm of temperatures as we’ve had in 2015 right from the spring throughout.”
The butterfly has the potential to have as many as three to five generations in a year.
They aren’t overly harmful, but they do eat plants that are found in the Brassicaceae family, also known as the mustards or cabbage family Hartley outlined. That includes cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. They tend to feed on canola too, but he clarified it’s more of the leaf than the pod. He said vegetable market gardens and even residents’ backyard gardens might see the butterfly.
“Other than messing up say the front of your car when you’re trying to drive around Ring Road, that’s probably all that you’re really going to notice with them,” agreed the city’s manager of forestry and pest control Russell Eirich.
Nothing is done specifically done to control their population. Hartley said nature will help bring numbers down, since they have lots of predators including birds and wasp parasites.