What is eating my cabbage leaves?

In this short article, we will be answering the question, “What is eating my cabbage leaves?” Further, we will be discussing how to get rid of cabbage bugs and what preventive measures you can take to avoid these bugs.

What is eating my cabbage leaves?

Following bugs may be eating and making holes in your cabbage leaves:

  • Aphids
  • Slugs and snails
  • Worms
  • Squirrels and chipmunks
  • Deer
  • Flea beetle

What bugs destroy cabbage leaves?

The following bugs are known to destroy cabbage leaves.


The fluid that circulates in the plant body is sucked by aphids and other mites like spider mites. Due to this reason, the cabbage plant weakens and loses its ability to fight against insects and pest infections. So, the aphids end up damaging the cabbage leaves. 

How to get rid of aphids?

You should spray the aphids on cabbage leaves to get rid of them. But if the attack of aphids is more severe, then you should use organic methods to remove them like neem oil, dish soap, and a solution of water. There are also chemical sprays available in the markets.

Ladybugs can eat aphids, so if you want to get rid of them from your plant, you should release ladybugs near the plant. 

Slugs and snails

If snails and slugs are eating your cabbage plant, you must take measures to remove them because they cause a lot of damage to the plant. They are more dangerous for your plant because they prefer to attack late at night or very early in the morning so that you could not catch them. 

If you notice any symptom that slugs or snails have caused damage, you must act as soon as possible.

How to get rid of slugs and snails

You should place a boundary of salt around your plant so that whenever snails or slugs touch the salt they will be dissolved. Make sure you use salt in less quantity because due to excess salt your plant will be badly affected. The planting of rosemary, fennel, anise, or street in your garden will get snails and snails away from cabbage. 


Cutworms cause damage to cabbage leaves. They make holes in the leaves. The size of cutworms is hardly 2 inches, and they curl their body in a c-shape. 

How to get rid of worms?

If there are fewer worms on your plant, you can easily remove them by spraying them off by using a hose. But if there are more significant worms, then you can use organic ways to remove them like neem oil, dish soap, and water. Most of the worms are present on the underside of the leaves, so make sure to spray that area specifically.

You can also remove worms by sprinkling flour on the cabbage plant. When worms eat leaves, they also eat flour, so they get it digested, and thus their stomach is expanded due to flour. They are killed eventually. 

Squirrels and chipmunks

These animals are found most frequently around the plants. They cause a lot of damage to the plants. These animals are very smart, so they are hard to be kept away from plants. 

Squirrels dig the small holes in the garden area and cause damage to cabbage leaves. Squirrels can eat whole cabbage plants or just leave a few pieces behind. 

How to get rid of squirrels and chipmunks?

You can use certain scents to keep squirrels away from cabbage plants. You can also use peppermint oil and vinegar for keeping them away. You should keep your garden clean because mostly these animals are attracted to the smell of fruits, nuts, and seeds. 


Deer are also such an animal that can cause damage to cabbage plants. They are not found commonly around but anyways you need to take care of your plants from them. They cause very messy damage to the leaves. They can eat the whole plant or can leave a few pieces behind. 

When there are more deer around then there is more risk of getting damaged or maybe stressful weather conditions make them cause more damage.

How to get rid of deer?

You should put barriers or hurdles around your garden to keep deer away from damaging cabbage leaves. You put plastic wires around the garden. This helps in protecting plants from big animals. 

Deer can make a very long jump so you should keep the wires or fence enough to keep deer away from the plants. 

Flea beetle damage

Flea beetles cause a lot of damage to cabbage seedlings. It causes holes in the leaves. These are of dark color and 1/6 inches long. The dark-colored beetles can attack mature cabbage plants as well as young leaves. 

Other FAQs about Cabbage that you may be interested in.

What is eating my cabbage leaves?

What can I substitute for cabbage in soups?

Can you eat Raw Red Cabbage?


In this short article, we have answered the question, “What is eating my cabbage leaves?” Furthermore, we have discussed how to get rid of plant bugs that cause damage to cabbage leaves.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.