How to Get Rid of Cabbage Maggots (Natural & Organic Methods) - Organic Daily Post

How to Get Rid of Cabbage Maggots (Natural & Organic Methods)

By Sabrina Wilson / July 27, 2022

Cabbage maggots are small, white, legless larvae that hatch from eggs laid by flies in early spring. The flies are attracted to early-planted, young cabbage and other Brassicas, and lay their eggs at the base of the plant. The larvae then tunnel into the plant to feed, causing extensive damage. Heavily infested plants may wilt, turn yellow, and die. Cabbage maggots are particularly troublesome in raised beds or other plantings where the soil is loose and warm, and they can quickly ruin an entire crop. Unfortunately, once cabbage maggots are present in a garden, they are difficult to control. The best defense is to plant resistant varieties of cabbage and other Brassicas, and to use row covers to keep the flies from laying their eggs in the first place.

Cabbage maggots are fly larvae that infest cabbages and other cole crops. These maggots are not only a nuisance, but they can also cause extensive damage to crops.

There are a number of reasons why natural or organic methods are preferable for getting rid of cabbage maggots. First, these methods are less likely to harm beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, that help control cabbage maggots. Second, natural methods are more environmentally friendly than using chemical pesticides. Third, organic methods are often more effective at controlling cabbage maggots than chemicals, since the larvae are less likely to develop resistance to them.

There are a number of simple and effective organic methods for controlling cabbage maggots. One is to cover the soil around plants with a layer of fine mesh, such as cheesecloth, to prevent the larvae from getting to the plants. Another is to plant trap crops, such as mustard, around the perimeter of the cabbage patch. The mustard will attract the adult flies, which will then lay their eggs in the mustard rather than the cabbages. Once the mustard is infested with larvae, it can be pulled up and destroyed.

A third organic method is to use parasitic wasps to control cabbage maggots. These wasps lay their eggs inside the maggots, and when the wasp larvae hatch, they eat the maggots from the inside out. parasitic wasps can be purchased from many garden supply stores.

Whatever method you choose, it is important to be consistent in your efforts to control cabbage maggots. If you only use organic methods part of the time, the maggots will quickly adapt and become resistant to them. But if you are consistent in your use of organic methods, you will eventually get rid of cabbage maggots for good.

Beneficial Nematodes

One of the best ways to get rid of cabbage maggots is to use beneficial nematodes. Nematodes are small, beneficial creatures that live in the soil and help to control pests. They are safe for humans and animals, and they will not harm your plants.

To use nematodes to control cabbage maggots, you will need to purchase a package of them from a garden center or online retailer. Make sure to get a variety of different nematodes, as different types are more effective against different pests. You will also need to find an area of your garden that is infested with cabbage maggots.

Once you have your nematodes, mix them with water according to the package directions. Then, using a garden hose, spray the mixture onto the infested area. The nematodes will enter the soil and begin to kill the maggots.

You will need to reapply the nematodes every few weeks to keep the maggots under control. However, once you start using them, you should see a significant reduction in the number of cabbage maggots in your garden.

Neem Oil

To use neem oil to get rid of cabbage maggots, simply add a teaspoon of neem oil to a gallon of water and mix well. Next, soak a clean cloth in the mixture and wring it out so that it is damp but not dripping. Finally, drape the cloth over your infected plants, making sure to cover the stems and leaves completely. Leave the cloth in place for at least 24 hours, then remove and dispose of it.

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a soap that is made from fatty acids and potassium hydroxide. It is used to kill insects by suffocating them. It is safe to use around children and pets.

Insecticidal soap is an effective way to get rid of cabbage maggots. Simply mix up a batch of the soap and water according to the directions on the package, and then spray it directly onto the infested plant. The soap will kill the maggots on contact, and will also help to control any other pests that may be present. Be sure to reapply the soap every few days to keep the maggots from coming back.

Horticultural Oil

Insecticidal soap is a type of soap that is designed to kill insects. It is made with ingredients that are toxic to insects, but relatively safe for humans and other animals. Insecticidal soap works by disrupting the insect’s nervous system, causing paralysis and death.

Insecticidal soap is usually made with potassium salts of fatty acids, which are soap-like molecules that are naturally found in plants. These molecules are able to penetrate the insect’s exoskeleton and reach its nervous system. Insecticidal soap is typically mixed with water and applied to plants with a sprayer.

While insecticidal soap is effective at killing insects, it is important to note that it only works on contact. This means that insects must be directly sprayed with the soap in order for it to be effective. In addition, insecticidal soap only works on soft-bodied insects, such as aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs. It is not effective against hard-bodied insects, such as beetles and scale.

To get rid of cabbage maggots, the best thing to do is to use horticultural oil. You will need to mix the oil with water in a ratio of 1 to 1 and then put it in a spray bottle. Next, you will need to find the infested area and spray the oil onto the maggots. Make sure to get them completely covered. The oil will kill the maggots within 24 hours.


1. What are cabbage maggots?
Cabbage maggots are small, whitefly larvae that feed on plants in the cabbage family. They can cause extensive damage to crops, and are a serious pest of commercially grown cabbage.

2. Where do cabbage maggots come from?
Cabbage maggots are thought to originate from whiteflies that lay their eggs on the underside of cabbage leaves. The larvae hatch and immediately begin feeding on the plant.

3. How do cabbage maggots damage plants?
Cabbage maggots feed by piercing the cabbage stem and sucking out the sap. This can result in stunted plant growth, wilting, and yellowing of the leaves. In severe cases, the plant may die.

4. What are the symptoms of cabbage maggot damage?
Wilting, yellowing, and stunted plant growth are all common symptoms of cabbage maggot damage.

5. How can I tell if my plant has cabbage maggots?
If you suspect your plant has cabbage maggots, carefully inspect the underside of the leaves for small, white larvae. You may also see evidence of damage, such as wilting, yellowing, or stunted growth.

6. Are cabbage maggots dangerous to humans?
No, cabbage maggots are not dangerous to humans. However, they can cause extensive damage to crops, so it is important to control them if they are present in your garden.

7. How can I control cabbage maggots?
One way to control cabbage maggots is to place a board or other material under the plant to catch the larvae as they fall. You can also remove infested plants and dispose of them. Spraying the plants with an insecticide may also help to control the pests.

8. What is the best way to prevent cabbage maggots?
The best way to prevent cabbage maggots is to avoid planting cabbage in areas where the pests are known to be present. If you must plant in an infested area, make sure to remove all infested plants and dispose of them.

9. How long do cabbage maggots live?
Cabbage maggots typically live for two to three weeks.

10. What do cabbage maggots look like?
Cabbage maggots are small, white larvae that feed on plants in the cabbage family. They can cause extensive damage to crops, and are a serious pest of commercially grown cabbage.

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About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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