Gardening Know How -

Tips To Control Cabbage Maggot In The Garden

The cabbage root maggot is responsible for many home gardens suffering a total loss of their root vegetables and cole crops [1]. The control of cabbage maggot is simple but doesn’t need to be done correctly in order to be effective. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of cabbage maggots [2] and their damage from your garden.

What are Cabbage Maggots?

Cabbage root maggots are the larval stage of the cabbage root fly. The cabbage root fly is a small, grey fly that looks like a house fly but more slender. The cabbage root fly will lay its eggs at the base of a plant and when the eggs hatch they become small, white legless worms.

Cabbage root fly eggs can only hatch in cool weather, which is why these pests attack mostly cool weather crops. Most commonly they will attack:

Symptoms of Cabbage Root Maggot

While not a sure sign of cabbage maggots, if the leaves of your plants start to wilt, check the roots of the plant for cabbage root maggots. Their damage to the roots will often cause the leaves to wilt.

Unfortunately, the easiest way to tell if you had cabbage root maggots is after you harvest and the damage to the root crops is visible. The roots will have tunnels or holes in them.

Also, in the early spring, if you see the cabbage root fly around your garden, you can expect that it is laying eggs and that cabbage maggots will be at your plants soon.

How to Get Rid of Cabbage Maggots

It is nearly impossible to control cabbage maggots themselves. Once they are in the roots of your plants, you have little choice but to pull the plants and destroy them in order to try to stop the cabbage root maggots from returning next year.

The only effective control of cabbage root maggots is really cabbage root fly control. When you control the cabbage root fly, you will prevent the maggot from getting into your garden in the first place.

Cabbage root fly control is best done with placing row covers over plants [12] during the spring. This will keep the cabbage root fly from being able to lay their eggs at the base of the plants and stops the cycle.

At this time, there are no effective cabbage root fly insecticides. Your best bet, if you would like to try an insecticide, is to cover the soil around the base of the plants with a powdered insecticide of some kind. However, be aware that these sorts of insecticides aren’t proven┬áto be fully effective at killing the cabbage root fly before it is able to lay its eggs.

Article printed from Gardening Know How:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:

[1] cole crops:

[2] get rid of cabbage maggots:

[3] Cabbage:

[4] Carrots:

[5] Beets:

[6] Broccoli:

[7] Cauliflower:

[8] Brussels sprouts:

[9] Radishes:

[10] Rutabagas:

[11] Turnips:

[12] placing row covers over plants:

Have any questions about this topic? Visit us at to ask your questions and get friendly answers from gardening experts.

You can also find us at:
'Like' us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter: - @gardenknowhow
Follow us on Pinterest:

Copyright © 2019 Gardening Know How. All rights reserved.