How to Get Rid of Cabbage Worms?

In the United States and worldwide, cabbageworm larvae are a common pest. Plants suffer wilting and eventually die due to the larvae living in the roots. Other vegetables are also susceptible to disease from the larvae. Infestations of cabbage worms in the garden can be prevented in a few ways.

This article will talk about the best methods for getting rid of cabbage worm infestations.

What Are Cabbage Worms?

These tiny little creatures are known as cabbage worms. They are tiny insects that the smell of the cabbage leaves has attracted. There are many species of cabbageworm, and they feed on the leaves of the cabbage plant.

It is essential to prevent these insects’ growth and get rid of them as soon as possible. Some of the most common species of these insects are cabbage white, fall armyworm, cabbage looper, tobacco cutworm, and corn earworm.

How to Identify Cabbage Worms?

Cabbage worm is not easy to identify as they have many similarities with the cabbage plants. These are small, so it is hard to spot them on the plants. You can easily spot them on your cabbage plants when you see holes in your cabbage leaves. These worms have a beautiful green color, and they are the larvae form of the cicada.

Cabbage Worm Life Cycle

Cabbage worms are the worst pest to face in the vegetable garden; they can destroy all the crops within minutes. They are one of the most harmful pests which can cause significant damage to a plant. They are not a single insect but a mixture of insects, including larvae and adults.

The life cycle of cabbage worms is straightforward, and it consists of eggs, larvae, and adults. They have different names according to their location and their life stages.


The female cabbage worm lays eggs after mating. The eggs are light brown colored, and they can be seen as a tiny dot on the underside of the leaves. It is the only cabbage worm stage of life that can survive without adults’ help. They can live up to 3 months and can be found anywhere in the garden with a lot of moisture.


After hatching the eggs, the larvae start feeding on the vegetable plants. The larvae have a white color with a blackhead. They look like worms and can be seen as a white or grey dot on the leaf. The length of the larva can vary from 6 to 8 inches, but most often, they can be found between 2 to 4 inches. They have an elementary life cycle which consists of feeding and maturation. The larvae usually feed on the plant’s leaves, but they can also damage the roots and stem. They can live for 1 to 3 years, and their food is the plant’s tissue.


The adult cabbage worm looks much like a moth or butterfly. Their wings are brown, and they can fly for 10 to 15 miles at a time. They feed on nectar and honeydew, which are the liquids secreted by the insects. They have a concise life cycle as they die after mating.

Cabbage Worm Damage

The larvae of these insects are called cabbage worms, also known as cutworms. When they eat the leaves of a cabbage plant, they leave holes. This damage can be seen on the plant’s leaves, stems, and buds. These leaves will turn yellow in a few days. In the beginning, you may not notice this damage, but once it becomes significant and severe, you will have to take action

Cabbage worms can cause significant damage to your vegetable garden. They can destroy your plants within minutes, and they don’t leave any damage behind. So, if you want to keep your garden healthy, you need to take some action before the damage gets more severe. If you have found a cabbage worm egg or larvae, you need to remove them as soon as possible and ensure no egg on the soil.

How to Get Rid of Cabbage Worms

Have you ever thought about cabbage worms and what they look like? If you haven’t, then it is time for you to learn about it as it is one of the most common problems faced by cabbage growers. Cabbage is a good source of Vitamin C and protein, but sometimes this vegetable becomes harmful due to cabbage worms.

Moreover, these worms are tiny but can damage a whole plant within a few days. They feed on the leaves and stems of the plant and can cause severe damage to the plants. The first thing that comes into your mind when you think of cabbage worms is, “how do they look?” Well, it is a tiny insect that has a body with a brownish color and a long tail. It looks very similar to a caterpillar but a bit bigger. You can easily find them under the soil or around the plants if they are present. Following are some ways to get get rid of cabbage worms.

1. Keep your garden clean

Cabbage worms only feed on the leaves and stems of the plants, so keeping the garden clean will help control them. Remove weeds and make sure that all the leaves and stems of the plants are not rotting and don’t have any diseases.

2. Use pesticides

If you want to get rid of cabbage worms from your garden, it is suggested to use pesticides. But keep in mind that this method is hazardous and should be used only for small gardens. Many chemicals are available for this purpose, but some are very toxic.

3. Get rid of cabbage worms with the help of insects

If you have a small garden and have tried everything, it is time to call an insecticide expert to get rid of the problem. They will first inspect your garden and then give you the right solution to get rid of them.

4. Try to grow cabbage in a soil

If you want to grow cabbage in soil, make sure that the ground is clean and fertile. If the soil is not suitable, you won’t get good results. Plant the seed and cover it with soil or manure. You can also apply compost if you want to get rid of the problem.

5. Sprinkle garlic powder

Garlic has many health benefits, but it can also help to control cabbage worms. So, when you see a worm in the soil, sprinkle some garlic powder and see the results. 

Methods For Controlling and Preventing Cabbage Worms Organically

Cabbage worms are usually seen in the garden, and they are green-colored. They look like caterpillars, and they have long bodies and short legs. If you have already seen the cabbage worms in your garden, you must know that you will not see a butterfly in your garden. They have a red-colored head, and they bite the leaves and suck their juices. They eat the roots and leave the plant weak. The larvae can survive for 3 to 4 months in the soil. If you plan to get rid of them, you need to know what kind of pest they are. They can’t be treated with insecticides as they will harm other insects. You can’t kill them with chemical sprays either, as the law protects them. Use natural remedies to control them. I am sure you have heard about some natural methods that can help to control these pests. So, here I will share some practical ways to control cabbage worms.

Get rid of cabbage worms

Cabbage worms are not a severe problem if you don’t have enough plants in your garden, but it is a big issue if you have a vast garden. It will eat your entire plants, and you won’t grow anything in your garden. So, it is better to get rid of them as soon as possible. You need to look at the leaves and see holes or wounds on their leaves. If you see any spot in the leaf, you must immediately remove the plant from your garden.

Use the ground cover

It is said that the ground cover is an effective way to control cabbage worms. You need to make sure that the ground cover is safe and effective to prevent them.

Plant marigolds

Marigolds effectively control cabbage worms, but you must be careful while planting them as they are toxic to bees and other insects. It is recommended to plant marigolds after the first blooming season.

Use neem oil

You can also use the neem oil for your plants, and it will help kill the larvae of cabbage worms. The neem oil will also help prevent the cabbage worm from reproducing in your garden.

Cabbage worms are very harmful to plants, and they can damage your garden ultimately. So, you must get rid of them as soon as possible. These tips will help you to do that.

What do cabbage worms look like?

Cabbage worms look white, black, or yellow, slightly curved and tapered moths with translucent wings. They lay their eggs on cabbage leaves, usually at night. The larvae, which hatch out of the eggs, live inside the host plant, and when they are ready to feed, they exit the cabbage leaves and crawl up the stems. They then pupate or transform into insect-like larva and emerge as flying adults.

Are cabbage worms eating holes in your cabbages?

Cabbage worms and moths are insects. They are related to the moth family. The larvae of these insects eat the leaves of cabbage plants. When they are young, the larvae look like tiny white caterpillars. At this stage, the caterpillar eats the upper surface of the leaf, leaving a round hole at the end. As the worm matures, it grows long antennae and a pair of short brownish legs. The head of the adult is a series of tiny white spots.

Are cabbage worms poisonous?

No, they’re not harmful to people or pets, but they can cause significant damage to the plants they’ve laid eggs on. Adults can fly, but only on warm days. Eggs hatch within a few days. The larvae are soft-bodied and wormlike. If the eggs are not killed, the larvae will feed on the plants for the rest of their lives. To get rid of the adults, vacuum them up, spray them with insecticidal soap, or use a light water spray to flush them out of the garden.

What eats cabbage worms?

Cabbage worms love to eat your broccoli and cabbage. They feed on the leaves and are sometimes called “cabbage butterflies.” Cabbage worms are also called “cutworms,” but they don’t fly. You might have to use a spray to kill them, but be careful not to get it on your hands. If you’re not sure, it’s probably safe to spray the leaves. Don’t worry. It won’t harm your plants.


So, we have seen how to get rid of cabbage worms. Cabbage worms are a problem that most people face while gardening. If you have a big garden, hiring an expert for this purpose is suggested. We hope that you are satisfied with our post. If you have any queries regarding this post, please share them with us through the comment box below. We will try our best to answer all the queries.

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