Vegetable Garden

Mealy Cabbage Aphids on my Brussels Sprouts!

August 6, 2010

Last year it was caterpillars, this year it’s aphids. Something always seems to want to eat my brassicas!

These were found on the tips of the sprouts last week and weren’t immediately obvious.  We first noticed yellow patches on the young leaves that were starting to wrinkle.  On closer examination (hidden inside the new leaf) we found this colony of Mealy Cabbage Aphid.
A heavy attack can kill the tips of the shoots which may encourage new side shoots.  The aphids also like the taste of radish and swede so keep an eye on those veggies too.

As they are a sap eating insect (and can therefore spread virus’) control is encouraged.  An insecticidal soap spray can be used (see blog on home made recipes).

We suffered a similar problem last October on the kale.
This year I’ve removed the infected leaves as I’m attempting to garden without the use of any sprays, including home made soap or garlic.
Although the broad beans were heavily infected with black bean aphid, it was interesting to observe how many predatory insects were on the plants too – particularly ladybirds and what I’m fairly certain were soldier beetles, offering some form of control. 


  • Reply Anonymous September 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Einstein was a pacifist but still knew when it was time to go to war. You've got to spray; if you don't take care of pests they will take care of your garden. Don't be an idealist. You'll get nowhere.

  • Reply Dee Sewell October 12, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for your comment Anonymous, but I have to disagree. We didn't use any sprays this year (I've used garlic in the past) and could see a noticable increase in beneficial insects -in particular ladybirds and hoverflies (and their larvae). Spraying kills everything – not just the 'baddies'. Next year I'm tempted to try out more biological controls though, especially Steinernema Carpocapsae for caterpillars.

  • Reply Kim Jacoby March 29, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I would like a remedy for the cabbage mealy aphids. Like boiling or mixing garlic or somthing natural like dish soap or cayenne pepper. Thank you

    • Reply greensideupveg March 29, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Hi Kim, there’s a link on the blog post that shares kitchen ingredient remedies. Hope that’s of help.

  • Reply Not Everything Green in the Garden is good ~ Aphids September 13, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    […] cycle take a look at an old Wednesday Wiggler blog post here. There’s also a blog post written here about mealy cabbage aphids you might like to check […]

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