Cabbage Root Maggots

Cabbage Root Maggot Control

Delia radicum

The Cabbage Root Maggot feeds primarily on crucifers such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, collards, kohlrabi, radish, and turnip. Cabbage maggots eat small fibrous roots and tunnel in through stems and large fleshy roots. If severe damage has been done, plants may wilt and die during the heat of the day. They cause the most trouble in Canada and the Northern U.S.

Cabbage Root Maggots overwinter as pupae in the soil. As the soil warms in spring, the adult fly emerges from the cocoons, feed on the nectar of flowers and mate. Appearing as early as April, females soon begin depositing eggs in the soil near the base of host plants.

Beneficial nematodes are the control method of choice for organic gardeners and farmers. We recommend Steinernema feltiae. An application when soil temperatures are in the mid-40's and above will help you achieve control. Multiple applications may be necessary during the growing season.

Photos courtesy the Canola Council of Canada.

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