Pest Away Tips

7 Tips to Identify and Prevent Pest Bugs Eating Your Kale


Kale is a highly nutritious cruciferous vegetable that has become increasingly popular among health-conscious individuals. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also versatile and easy to add to your daily diet.

However, pests can pose a significant problem for kale growers, especially for those who prefer to cultivate their own kale in their gardens. From aphids and cabbage loopers to diamondback moths and common caterpillars, there are many types of pests that can damage your kale crops.

This article aims to provide you with useful information on how to identify and prevent pests that might eat your kale. We will also explore some proven methods for repelling these pests and ensuring a healthy harvest.

Identifying Pest Bugs Eating Kale

Aphids: These tiny, soft-bodied insects are one of the most common pests to attack kale. You can spot them by looking for a sticky substance on the leaves, along with drooping, curling, or yellowing leaves.

Aphids use their sharp mouthparts to suck the sap from your kale plants, which leads to malnutrition and stunted growth. To get rid of them, you can try spraying your kale with a mixture of water and sugar to lure them away or using specific pesticides.

Cabbage Loopers: Caterpillars can pose a significant threat to your kale plants, particularly during their early stages of formation. Cabbage loopers can be identified by the circular holes they leave on the leaves, a sticky substance and eggs.

You can try using broad-spectrum pesticides or manually removing them as soon as you spot them. Flea Beetles: Flea beetle infestations are also widespread among kale crops.

These jumping beetles create tiny pits and small holes in the seedlings that destroy your plants’ foliage. If you want to protect your kale, you can encourage native wasp populations to help control the flea beetle population.

You can also remove the infested plants manually or use insecticides. Cabbage Worms: These caterpillars are common pests to many brassica plants, such as broccoli and cabbage.

You can identify them by the holes they create through the leaves or flower heads. One of the best ways to get rid of them is by spraying your kale with thyme oil, which acts as a repellent.

You can also handpick the worms and place them in soapy water. Whiteflies: Whiteflies are small, flying insects that often leave a white powder or sticky residue on the tops of kale leaves.

To get rid of them, you can manually remove them by using insecticides or ladybugs. Weeding your garden regularly can also help keep the population under control.

Diamondback Moths: The brown moths with white and black spotting are notorious for devastating kale crops during their larval stage. They feed on the leaves and leave holes in the foliage, reducing the plant’s overall growth.

You can combat diamondback moths by using specialized pesticides. Common Caterpillars: This category encompasses a wide range of caterpillars that feed on kale.

To prevent them from infesting your kale, you can conduct regular weed checks, use specific pesticides, and introduce trap plants into your garden.

Pest Prevention and Repellent

Remove Weeds: Regular weed checks can help you get rid of any potential breeding sites for pests. The Fiskars Claw Weeder is a great tool for removing weeds from your garden quickly.

All-Purpose Repellents and Insecticides: The EcoRaider All-Purpose Insect Control Spray is an all-natural, non-toxic solution for keeping kale and other vegetables pest-free. It’s an excellent alternative to broad-spectrum pesticides that can harm beneficial insects and microorganisms in your soil.

Trap Plants: Nasturtiums, sunflowers, marigolds, and radishes are excellent trap plants that can help prevent pests from attacking your kale. These plants can attract beneficial insects that feed on harmful bugs, keeping them away from your kale.


Growing kale is a great way to ensure a steady source of nutrient-rich food, but pests can pose a severe threat to your harvest. Identifying pests, like aphids, cabbage loopers, flea beetles, cabbage worms, white flies, diamondback moths, and common caterpillars, can be challenging, but once you know what you’re dealing with, prevention and control become much more accessible.

By using a combination of manual removal, specific pesticides, and natural insecticides, you can successfully prevent and repel pests from your garden and enjoy healthy and delicious kale. Remember to weed your garden regularly and introduce trap plants, because they can help reduce the likelihood of an infestation taking hold.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to grow and enjoy a bountiful kale harvest throughout the year. In conclusion, the pests that can attack kale are a serious threat to the growth and wellbeing of your plants, leading to stunted growth, malnutrition, and even death.

However, by identifying the most common pests, practicing regular weed checks, and using natural insecticides and repellents, you can keep your kale crops healthy and flourishing. Achieving a bountiful harvest of this highly nutritious vegetable may take some work and attention, but it is a valuable investment in your health and well-being.

With these tips and strategies, you can successfully protect your kale crops and enjoy their many benefits for years to come.

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