The caterpillars can be identified as follows:
Cabbage Moth - green-brown all over with no 'hair'
Large Cabbage White - a yellow body with dark black markings all
over the body.
Small Cabbage White - these are pale green all over with a
velvet looking texture.
The damage is caused by them eating the leaves,
both the outer leaves and more annoyingly leaves at the heart of
cabbages. The holes are no particular shape and are
How to Treat Cabbage Whitefly
These caterpillars can cause considerable damage
to cabbage plants especially if they get to the heart leaves. It
really is best to keep a regular check going for damage and take
action immediately it is noticed. The best solution is to remove
the caterpillars by hand when they are young and still on the
An alternate solution is to protect the plants
with netting or some other form of covering especially made for
the purpose. These are readily available from nurseries, garden
centres and DIY stores. A spraying with derris will also
help and will not cause damage to wildlife.
Once the caterpillars have got to the heat of
the cabbage, it's very difficult to treat with anything but
chemicals. Spray with an approved chemical
but follow the instructions on the packet carefully.