Cross-Striped Cabbageworm Moth (Evergestis rimosalis)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Cross-Striped Cabbageworm Moth.
Updated: 2/26/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A plain-looking adult Cross-Striped Cabbageworm Moth can beget an army of leaf-chewing caterpillars that quickly consume garden produce.
The larvae of the Cross-Striped Cabbageworm Moth is an enemy to anyone growing cabbage, Brussel sprouts, collards, and other leafy green vegetables. Tubular white eggs are attached with silk to the underside of a leaf. Once they hatch, the light green caterpillars immediately begin chewing their way through the leaf they are on, moving to neighboring leaves as they grow. They change color, becoming black with yellow sides and orange heads, and begin developing short white stripes across the body. Larger caterpillars have thicker stripes. The reproduction of the moth is ongoing throughout the summer, so a single leaf of collard greens could harbor caterpillars of varying ages. Because of the evolving colors as they age, a gardener may think that many different species of caterpillar are attacking the leaf.
Preventing the adult female from laying eggs on the plant is the easiest way to deal with this garden pest. The small brown moth has black eyes and dark smudges at the tips of its wings, and sighting one near the garden should prompt protective action. Covering plants with row covers will keep the female from attaching her eggs on a food source. Removing individual caterpillars by hand - as well as any unhatched eggs - can also curb their numbers and limit crop damage, but this labor intensive method is only suitable for small gardens. If an infestation has already started, insecticidal sprays can help control a population, especially in a large field of greens.