Cole Crops

Pests and their Damage: Heading to Harvest

  • Aphids, other
  • Bagrada bug
  • Beet armyworm
  • Cabbage aphid
  • Cabbage looper
  • Silverleaf whitefly
Click on photos to enlarge. Names link to more information on identification and management.
Green peach aphids.

Aphids, other

Identification tips: Green peach aphids are dark green or yellow and have no waxy covering. They are the most common in cole crops, but also look for turnip aphid.

Adult female Bagrada bug, Bagrada hilaris, (left) and adult male (right).

Bagrada bug

Identification tips: Adults are about 0.2 inch and have black, shield-shaped bodies with distinct orange and white markings. Look for stippled or wilted areas on leaves and new shoots or heads of plants that become stunted.

Beet armyworm egg cluster.

Beet armyworm

Identification tips: Adults lay their eggs in scale-covered cottony masses on leaf surfaces. Larvae are dull green and have light-colored stripes down the back and sides. They can destroy seedlings, consume leaves, or stunt growth by feeding on buds.

Cabbage aphid wingless adult.

Cabbage aphid

Identification tips: Grayish-green with a white waxy coating. Dense colonies covered with waxy droplets develop. They are found feeding deep within the heads of cabbages or Brussels sprouts.

Cabbage looper larva.

Cabbage looper

Identification tips: Larvae are green, smooth-skinned, about 1.5 inches long, and have two white stripes along each side. They eat ragged holes into leaves, and bore through and contaminate heads and leaves with frass.

Silverleaf whitefly adult.

Silverleaf Whitefly

Identification tips: Adults are about 0.5 inch long, yellowish insects with white wings. Feeding frequently causes leaves to turn whitish or silver.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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