Growing Futures

Diamondback moth

Controlling a vegetable pest

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Diamondback moth

The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, lays eggs on the leaves of brassica crops, which provides the food source for the caterpillar larvae. This can severely impact the growth of the plant, as any caterpillars that move into the growing tip of the young plant will reduce the development of a viable “head”. In addition, any caterpillars present in a shipment can close market borders for export. For consumers, the damage to cabbage leaves results in a visually-unattractive product, whilst in broccoli and cauliflower, caterpillars or cocoons may be found in the flower head.