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Cabbage Looper - Garden Insect Library - Saferbrand

Cabbage Loopers

Named for the unusual way it walks, the caterpillar propels itself forward by drawing its back legs toward its front legs, creating almost a circular loop, and then extending itself again.


Cabbage loopers feed not only on cabbage, but also on a wide range of plants. Look for leaves with big, odd-shaped holes and heads of cabbage with pieces eaten out of the heads.




Natural & Organic Controls


B.t. and pyrethrins are natural solutions that can be used to help control the cabbage looper. B.t. (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a safe, effective method of controlling the cabbage looper in your garden or field without environmental concerns or harm to wildlife and beneficial insects. Insecticides containing pyrethrins like Safer® Brand Bug Patrol can also be an effective method of combating the cabbage looper.



B.t. kills cabbage loopers, thereby preventing further damage. When the worm ingests the B.t., it works as a gut rot poison that makes the worm stop feeding. The cabbage looper will stop feeding immediately and die within days of malnutrition.

Safer® Brand Garden Dust with B.T.


B.t. usually comes in a dust (Safer® Brand Garden Dust) or concentrate (Safer® Brand Caterpillar Killer) and kills a variety of caterpillars and worms, including the destructive cabbage looper. It will not harm beneficial insects, children, pets or wildlife.


Carefully read and follow all directions on the product's label. It  is recommended with any pesticide to test plants for sensitivity to the product. Spray a small section of the plant in an inconspicuous area and wait 24 hours before full coverage.



B.t. is generally applied when it is a cooler time of day, preferably later in the afternoon or early in the evening since the product breaks down in sunlight and heat.


Safer® Brand offers a variety of cabbage looper control products to help control and eliminate this garden pest and revive your plants. Please check out our cabbage looper control products for more details about how they work and how, when, and where they should be applied.


When applying pyrethrins to infected plants, carefully read and follow all directions on the product labeling for safe and effective application. Do not spray plants in the peak of the day or when temperatures exceed 90°F


Why Choose a Natural Solution?

Natural solutions break down quickly into their natural elements. They are preferable to chemical pesticides that leave residuals where they are sprayed causing long-term detrimental affects on the environment.





Natural Predators


Predators of the cabbage looper include lady beetles, spiders, pirate bugs, wasps, birds and small mammals.

lady beetles


The predators and parasites of cabbage loopers attack both larvae and eggs, killing them for food as well as paralyzing them and depositing eggs in the larva or egg. When the parasitic egg has hatched, it will feed on the cabbage looper larva or egg.



The predators and parasites of cabbage loopers attack both larvae and eggs, but in some cases, they will also attack the cabbage looper in its pupal stage.




Images courtesy of Oklahoma State University and Forestry Images.
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Safer®Brand brings you a variety of effective insect control products that are gentler on the environment! Most of them proudly display the OMRI Listed® organic seal and comply for use in organic gardening!


organic gardening products with the OMRI listed seal