Cauliflower and cabbage aphids: causes and remedies to eliminate them

Cauliflower and cabbage aphids: causes and remedies to eliminate them

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Dear friends of We are Agriculture, today we talk about Aphids cauliflower and cabbage and some methods to combat and eliminate them permanently from your garden Aphids.

What are Aphids?

The Aphids, also known as "plant lice”, They are gods insects belonging to the order Rhynchota and are divided into various families: Adelgidae, Aphididae and Phylloxeridae.

The Aphids they are very small (1-3 mm) and are sometimes difficult to see with the naked eye. They have a very complex reproductive system and life cycle, which makes them easily adaptable to any type of environment and agricultural plant. They are also often very resistant to phytosanitary treatments.

Usually, females manage to pass thewinter and then lay a large number of eggs in spring. If, on the other hand, fertilization took place before winter, even the eggs they can pass the winter but only if very low temperatures are reached. The eggs are laid on the stem or in woody inlets that can keep them protected and sheltered.

Aphids adapt well to both the low temperatures that to the high ones, for this reason, during the year, up to 25-30 generations can be created.

A species is defined "type R" strategy, that is, they are capable of rapidly increasing their population exponentially (pullulations).

Waxy aphid

The waxy cauliflower aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae, L.), is one of the most common aphids that attacks cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. More rarely, it can also attack turnip, radish, rocket and mustard.

Its color tends to green and it is easy to recognize it because it is all covered with one very waxy white powder. This allows it to be even more resistant and adaptable to various conditions.

It is about 1,5-2,5 mm large and follows all the characteristics of the aphids previously described.


Aphids congregate in colonies, especially on the underside of the leaf and for this reason it is also difficult to notice their presence.

Most of them are referred to as insects phytomites, a term that indicates all those insects that feed on plant sap by sucking it directly from its conductive vessels, very often directly from the leaves.

The damage, in fact, is caused by the sting that the insect makes on the leaf to create a hole from which to feed on the lymph.

The nourishment of the Aphids thus causes a lack of nutrients important to the life of the plant. Due to their attack, in fact, the leaves turn yellow and deform.

Lack of nutrients also causes one decreased growth of cabbage or cauliflower themselves. For this reason, especially if the attack occurred on young leaves, the plant may be subject to an overall reduced growth. And of course this translates into a minor PAU (useful agricultural product) and a very serious economic damage if we do not intervene in time.


To eliminate the Aphids we often resort to chemical products but, as often happens, these are not enough. Products like the Pyrethrum (or Pyrethroids in general), are expensive and can cause other types of damage.

This is why it is very important to also intervene with agronomic practices specific, in order to prevent their appearance.

The best way to get rid of Aphids entirely is to destroy (often with fire) all the stems of cabbage or cauliflower after harvest. Since, as we have said, these spend the winter on the stem of the plant.

Another very useful agronomic method is to encourage the biodiversity and the rotations: it is good to guarantee an interval of 3-4 years before replanting our cabbages or cauliflowers on the same plot. It is also good to carry out the alternations with legumes.

The macerated nettle, as it causes a repellent action on the aphids that have attacked our crop.

Among antagonists, the natural enemies of the Aphids are above all ladybirds (Coleoptera Coccinellidi), Myrids, Chrysopids Neuroptera, Diptera Sirfidi and Hymenoptera Aphidids.

Do you think the information in this article is incomplete or inaccurate? Send us a report to help us improve!

White fly: definitive remedies

One of the whitefly species that attack fruit, ornamental and horticultural plants, the whitefly Bemisia argentifolii.

How to get rid of the whitefly: remedies to eradicate it permanently from any plant. Natural remedies, biological fight and chemical remedies. The most effective products to eliminate this harmful insect from the vegetable garden and the garden.

When it comes to white flies, the classic fly trap proves to be ineffective and for this reason we must focus on do it yourself remedies and specific products.

White fly: insect harmful to plants

Not everyone says it, but when it comes to white flies reference is made to 1500 different species belonging to the Aleyrodidae family or whiteflies. Let's talk about a family of insects very large of the order of the Rhynchota Homoptera. The white flies can be considered a bit like aphids: attack the crops more disparate, then there are some species that have certain preferences even if, in fact, they do not disdain anything else in the garden!

  • There citrus whiteflyAleurocanthus woglumi, despite its color it is one white fly for all intents and purposes, it preferably attacks lemon, orange, mandarin and other citrus plants.
  • There white cauliflower flyAleyrodes proletella, it is called white cauliflower fly because it is a typical parasite of this plant, however it attacks any Brassicacea or Crucifera (broccoli, cabbage, savoy cabbage, rocket, turnip, radish, horseradish, cabbage and even some varieties of lettuce).
  • There whitefly of ornamental plants, fruit plants, greenhouse crops and horticultural plants. In practice it is the white fly more widespread, it is ubiquitous, it can infest tomatoes as well as the ornamental plants of the garden.
  • The whitefly of the Trialeurodes vaporarium greenhouses.
  • There white flyBemisia argentifolii or white tomato fly, is an important parasite that attacks various garden plants and also ornamental plants including the dahlia and the poinsettia.

The whitefly is among the parasites of citrus fruits most important as lemon, orange or mandarin plants can be attacked by a good number of different species of whiteflies.

In the photo, the cauliflower whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella) and, in red, its eggs.

There is no shortage of images in the article that will help you identify the type of insect that you have in front of you, even if then, in practical terms, i remedies against whiteflies do not change, chemicals, biological control and traps can be used effectively on any species of the family whiteflies.

Damage caused by the white fly they are not only direct but also indirect: the white flies they suck the sap of the leaves and secrete large quantities of honeydew (yes, just like aphids do), honeydew calls ants and causes other infections such as black mold or soot, typical of citrus fruits and many fruit and horticultural plants.

Between plant diseases caused by the white fly figure the viral disease known as mosaic (mosaic of beans, tobacco, tomato ...), the curling of the leaves (especially on the tomato), the mottling of tomatoes ... In short, the whitefly is an important vector of many plant diseases .

Curled tomato leaves

Generally the presence of curls in tomato leaves is due insufficient watering. The plant does not need a lot of water, but in the hottest periods it may happen that it may need it more and should be fed regularly. However, avoid giving water every day and watering it superficially and on the leaves, because this can favor it development of powdery mildew and other fungal diseases. Provide water every two or three days, thoroughly wetting the soil.

The most problematic aphid species for vegetables, fruit trees and plants

It is clear that it is not possible to make a list of all the aphid species of the plants present in our area. So let's limit ourselves to the main ones, which we often encounter and which can cause serious damage to our crops.

  • Aphis gossypii, which particularly attacks plants of the cucurbit family (zucchini, cucumbers, melons, pumpkin)
  • Aphis fabae, better known as black aphid, parasite of crops such as: Fava beans, chard, tomatoes, green beans
  • Myzus persicae, very problematic for the peach tree and other stone fruit.
  • Macrosiphum rosae or aphid of the rose.
  • Myzus cerasi or black aphid of the cherry tree.
  • Brachycaudus cardui, or brownish-green aphid of the artichoke, which usually attacks plants belonging to the Asteraceae family.
  • Aphis citricola, better known as the green aphid of the citrus fruits, which in addition to citrus fruits attacks the vine, the rose and several horticultural species.
  • Brevicoryne brassicae, or aphid of the cauliflower, a species that mainly attacks crucifers.

We could go on for a long time with the species, but let's say that these are the main ones. As you may have noticed, there is a close connection between the species nomenclature and the plants concerned, even though most aphids have some mobility.

How to defend the cabbages and the vegetable garden

To hinder the cabbage and safeguard your cabbage plants it is not necessary to use pesticides toxic. In the organic garden it is possible to create associations and distribute macerated products to prevent the arrival of the larvae, in this way you can save money and avoid polluting. In a small garden, the manual elimination of caterpillars and eggs is a simple but effective way to get rid of this parasite.

The use of rock powders, such as Cuban zeolite is another very useful method for prevention.

Even on professional extensions it is still possible to fight the cabbage with biological methods, there are effective treatments of natural origin, for example the bacillus thuringiensis. Now let's see in more detail how to defend our garden without making a harmful chemical fight, examining the various possibilities to combat cabbage.

Where do we start from?

From the greenhouse and the seedbed. If you don't have room in your garden for one small greenhouse, there is no better place - as I have often mentioned in Orto WebLog - than the balconies at home.

A constant temperature, a shelter from the cold of the night, the heat that accumulates between the windows during the hours of the sun. all this will make your seeds germinate which, once they become seedlings, you will go to bury in the garden.

You are spoiled for choice on what to sow: onions, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, corn, courgettes, cucumbers, turnips.

Plant new strawberries and don't forget to eradicate weeds, those that, for example, can grow at the foot of undergrowth plants (raspberries, blueberries, currants, etc.). Spring also makes weeds grow, not just your seeds!

Cauliflower and cabbage aphids: causes and remedies to eliminate them - garden

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  • 90 ° alcohol and Marseille soap, easy and natural remedies against aphids and cochineal

    There are many 'natural' (non-chemical) antiparasitic remedies and almost all of them have been given space on the pages of InOrto, however we have perhaps not yet talked about the simplest and easiest to find:alcohol and the Marseille soap.

    After having manually removed, when possible, the infected parts, it may be useful to intervene with one of these two remedies to eradicate the residual parasites.

    They may not be as effective as the pyrethrum, a broad-spectrum insecticide of plant origin, but they certainly leave the biological balance that may have been created inside our garden or balcony more unaltered, because alcohol and Marseille soap, unlike pyrethrum, do not kill all the insects present in the garden, including the useful ones, which are often the antagonists of the parasites we are going to fight.

    So let's see how to use them correctly:

    Preparation: dilute 15-20 gr, or about one and a half tablespoons of soup, in 1 liter of water.

    Usage: it is very useful against aphids, especially if sprayed directly on insects in the hours of maximum sunshine. It can be repeated 3 times every two or three days. We carry out this operation carefully and, in the presence of particularly delicate plants, we test it and if necessary we move this operation in the evening hours, to avoid leaf burns.

    Marseille soap

    Preparation: we try to buy soap with completely natural components, perhaps in herbal medicine, because often on the market there are fake Marseille soaps, full of chemical components. If we find it in liquid form, we dilute 20-30cc in each liter of water. If, on the other hand, we find it in solid form, we dilute 10-20 g in 1 liter of water.

    Usage: it is particularly suitable against cochineal, because its insecticidal action consists in obstructing the respiratory organs of these parasites. But it is also useful against other parasites whose protective coating it dissolves. Also in this case we try to hit the insects directly, administering the remedy in the evening hours. If necessary, we repeat the operation 2-3 times every 3-5 days.

    To have an even more effective effect against cochineal it is possible to mix these two remedies ... try it!

    Judge and intervene according to the severity of the infestation!

    Video: Ladybugs Eating Aphids


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