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What attacks Brussel Sprouts? Now Answered

by Idris Ya'u
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

Several pests can attack Brussel sprouts causing diseases. This article explains some of these pests.

Aphids: They are very common and can spread diseases. They reproduce quickly and get your plants’ energy drained. Weakening of your plants make them susceptible to all kinds of other pests and diseases. Brevicoryne brassicae are the aphids which attack Brussel sprouts. They can be controlled in a way similar to the common aphid.

Armyworms: They have a relation with cutworms but with a different kind of damage. The plants may be attacked by 3 different types of these worms which are the larvae of particular night-flying moths.

They are the beet armyworm known as Spodoptera exigua, the Bertha armyworm known as the Mamestra configurata, and the Western yellow-stripped armyworm.

Their appearance vary from solid to spotted or stripped, in colours ranging from light yellow to almost black. They are around one inch long and can burrow into the buds or heads.

They also skeletonize leaves. Once you sight them, pluck them off and have them drowned in soapy water. Also, alternate treatments every year so as to improve effectiveness and to prevent the development of resistance.

Read also: Can you Grow Brussel Sprouts in a 5-gallon Bucket?

Cabbage Loopers: They are inch-long green caterpillars which make Brussels sprout leaves look more of lace than foliage. They are very common across North America and can have multiple generations every year. If you are growing brassicas, you are more likely to have an encounter with them.

Cabbage Whites: Due to the fact that they are most active during the summer, they do not pose much of a big problem on Brussels sprouts. Cabbage worms chew their way into the heads, where they stick around and feed.

They consume the leaves of the plant. In large population, they can skeletonize the foliage. If they are not too many, you can handpick them and drown them in soapy water.

Cutworms: Compared to some other pests which take weeks or months to cause damage to your plants, a cutworm can destroy your seedlings in just one day. They are the larvae of various night-flying moths grouped under the family “Noctuidae”.

They are most damaging to Brussels sprouts when they are seedlings. This is because they chew through the base of the plants. Thus, killing them.

Read also: What is a Good Companion Plant for Brussel Sprouts?

Diamondback Moths: These pests are voracious eaters but they may have tiny larvae. They feed at the base of sprout buds, causing damage to the extent where sprouts fail to form.

They can also devour young seedlings hastily. The caterpillars are green in colour with just a third of an inch long. Some of these caterpillars possess two prolegs at the back giving a distinctive V-shape.

The adults re light and dark brown in colour. They also have diamond-shaped markings on their wings. Whenever you sight the larvae or the adult, carry out control procedures immediately.

Read also: How do I Know When my Brussel Sprouts are ready to be Picked?


Other pests which attack Brussel sprouts include: Earwigs, flea beetles, leaf miners, root-knot nematodes, snails and slugs, thrips, and wireworms. I hope you find this article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.


  1. “Brussels Sprouts Pests & Diseases” retrieved from here
  2. “Brussels sprouts Pests Identification” retrieved from here
  3. “PEST AND DISEASE OF BRUSSELS SPROUTS” retrieved from here

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