Cabbage Insect Pest Management

(For a list of insects affecting cabbages in the Northeast, see

Cabbages and other crucifer vegetable and field crops are important in New York, the Northeast and globally.  In New York the cabbage crop is annually valued at about $80 million, making it the most valuable vegetable crop.  The main pests of crucifers are the caterpillar complex (diamondback moth, imported cabbageworm and cabbage looper), cabbage maggots, flea beetles, cabbage aphids, onion thrips and the newly invasive swede midge (  Our approach to controlling these insects has utilized host plant resistance, biological control, trap cropping, organic agriculture, insecticides and biotechnology.


Listed below are a few of our publications in this area (see complete publication list above).

  1. Philips, C.R., Z. Fu, T.P. Kuhar, A.M. Shelton, and R.J. Cordero. 2014. Natural history, ecology and management of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, with emphasis on the United States. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 5: D1-D11. DOI:
  2. Li, X-W, J. Fail, P. Wang, J-N Feng and A. M. Shelton. 2014. Performance of arrhenotokous and thelytokous Thrips tabaci on onions and cabbage and its implications on evolution and pest management. J. Econ. Entomol 107: 1526-1534.
  3. Fail, J., M. E. Deutschlander and A. M. Shelton. 2013. Antixenotic resistance of cabbage to onion thrips: Light reflectance. J. Econ. Entomol. 106: 2602-2612.
  4. Chen, M., A. M. Shelton, R. H. Hallett, C. A. Hoepting, J. R. Kikkert and P. Wang.  2011. Swede midge, 10 years of invasion of crucifer crops in North America.  J. Econ. Entomol. (Forum) 104: 709-716. (PDF reprint here)
  5. Grzywacz, D., A. Rossbach, A. Rauf, D. Russell, R. Srinivasan and A. M. Shelton.  2010.  Current control methods for diamondback moth and prospects for improved management with lepidopteran-resistant Bt vegetable brassicas in Asia and Africa.  Crop Protection 29:68-79. (PDF reprint here)
  6. Shelton, A. M., J. Plate and M. Chen.  2008.  Advances in control of onion thrips in cabbage.  J. Econ. Entomol. 101: 438-443. (PDF reprint here)

Biology, ecology and management of insect pests affectiing vegetables and other crops