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Cabbage Aphid

Brevicoryne brassicae

Cabbage Aphid, Mealy Cabbage Aphid, Cabbage Aphids

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Deal with aphids organically: Method 4
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Deal with aphids organically: Method 4
Deal with aphids organically: Method 3
Deal with aphids organically: Method 3
Deal with aphids organically: Method 2
Deal with aphids organically: Method 2
Mealy Cabbage Aphids are sap-sucking insects with a grey, powdery and mealy appearance. They live in dense clusters on cabbages and other Brassica species. Dense clusters of Mealy Cabbage Aphids will be visible on host plants. You might find them on the flowering stems and undersides of leaves. Initial symptoms involve patches of discolouration on leaves. Young plants may experience stunted growth and in more extreme infestations, plant death. Older plants can tolerate a Cabbage Aphid attack, and although it looks aesthetically unpleasing, the plant will usually survive and produce a crop.


Can cause damage such as distortion and discolouration to plant leaves.
Food source for garden predators like ladybirds, parasitic wasps and lacewing.


Adults: Mealy cabbage aphids measure approximately 2 mm in length and are grey-green in colour, with a powdery texture. The adult female is wingless for most of the active months, producing live offspring. Later in the season, winged adults will develop and seek new host plants as old plants become overpopulated. Towards the end of the active period, adults will lay eggs on host plants to overwinter. Nymphs: They're like the adults but much smaller and wingless.


Mealy green-grey bugs clustered on stems and beneath leaves. Discolouration where bugs have sucked-sap. Leaf-yellowing Wilting Stunted growth Death of young seedlings












Biological treatment

Remove dense clusters by squashing them between your fingers and thumb. Using a fine horticultural crop mesh or fleece over the crop and digging the loose edges into the soil, will help protect target plants. Yearly crop rotation is advised to suppress overwintering eggs. You can also remove weeds and other susceptible plants in the area to reduce the risk of overwintering eggs surviving on host plants. One of the best methods of control is to encourage aphid predators such as ladybirds into your garden. Gently hose plants down with water to remove excess bugs. A bug hotel is a great addition to any garden, it can provide suitable habitat for a range of beneficial insects.

Chemical treatment

Check availability with your local garden centre.



Brassica spp.

A close up of a green Brassica oleracea var. botrytis plant in a garden


Brassica oleracea (Botrytis Group) 'Cauliflowers'

A close up of a green Brassica oleracea var. italica (Italica Group) broccoli plant


Brassica oleracea var. italica (Italica Group)

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Brussels Sprout 'Long Island'

Brassica oleracea (Gemmifera Group) 'Long Island'


Nasturtium spp. are brilliant for attracting insect activity away from your prized vegetable patch!

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