Watering the lettuces, I spotted a Red Cabbage head leaning sideways on the ground.
On close inspection, here's what I saw:
Three little worm-like bugs having a feast of the bottom of the stalk of this head of red cabbage.
Their posse was crushed by hand. The cabbage will be cooked tonight.
two days later
Neighboring Mesclun, Red Sail, Collards, Arugula and the other three Red Cabbages are all basically well. Photographed on a warm sunny day just before being watered:
These are growing in an above-ground planter built a couple of months ago in the backyard of a 3-family apartment building in Brooklyn, NY.
There is heavy duty landscaping cloth under the planter. Worth noting, the wood I built the planters from was reclaimed, though I inspected each board thoroughly and (I believe) they were bug-free.
But.. see that yellow card? It's a sticky trap to kill hatching larvae, placed there one month ago when A swiss chard planted in that exact location suddenly wilted!!
As Stormy points out, next season it would be advantageous for the lettuces overall to be dispersed throughout other locations, or with companion species besides cole crops.
I'll update this post as the cabbage root excavation continues.
Fiasco Labs has ID'd the bugs as termites. What an outright terrifying little species those are. Confirmed watching spine-chilling YouTube videos, the motion of their "feasting" is very distinct.
Questions about Termites:
Are Nematodes known to mitigate termites in soil?
Can termites just appear out of thin (local) air? Might they have come from the wood in the planters? From the ground? Are termites just around, like mosquitoes?
A few weeks ago, Nematodes were added to all of the soil in the various planters. Scanmask was used, and I did my best to not over- or under- populate my garden based on the instructions. We hope beneficial Nematodes put the hurt on all nefarious bugs!