How to recognize cabbage moth 

The cabbage moth belongs to the owlet moths (Noctuidae). It has a wingspan of 35 to 50 mm. The front-wings are grey-brown with light brown spots. The kidney-spot has a white line and the back edge of the wings has a white, W-shaped line. There is not much variation in the patterns. Eggs are deposited in groups of 20-30 on the underside of the leaves. During aging, eggs darken until almost purple. The eggs are ribbed with a light net-shaped pattern. The caterpillars start translucent with a characteristic black head. Later the head turns yellowish and the body turns green with thick yellow length-stripes. The fully developed caterpillars vary from green to black and are about 45 mm in size. 

Cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae
Cabbage moth
Cabbage moth caterpillar Mamestra brassicae
Cabbage moth caterpillar

Cabbage moth damage and distribution 

The youngest stages cause window feeding damage, while larger stages eat entire leaves and petioles. The caterpillars are usually found in the head of the plant feeding on young leaves. The caterpillars feed mainly at night and hide during the day close or in the soil. In greenhouses, multiple generations can occur. 

Cabbage moth life cycle

  • 400-1000 eggs per female
  • six caterpillar stages
  • pupation after 30 days
  • caterpillar active year-round, peaks from May until October

Cabbage moth host plants

  • cabbage crops
  • several herbaceous plants
  • chrysanthemum, carnation
  • deciduous trees, such as willow and oak
Our products against

Cabbage moth


Effective against
– Whitefly and thrips
– Spider mite
– Caterpillars

Trichogramma brassicae-150x150


Effective against
– Many different caterpillars

Common caterpillar and moth species

Carnation tortrix
Box tree
European pepper moth
Silver Y
Bright-line brown-eye

Eikenprocessierups bestrijding