Diamond Back Moth, Plutella xylostella

Plutella xylostella, the diamond-back moth feeds on the leaves of certain types of vegetables including cabbage. It is distributed throughout the USA, Canada, Australia, Asia and the Middle East.

It is has become an emerging problem in the United Kingdom with reports of the moth reaching ‘plague proportions’ in farms where cabbages are grown.

Russell IPM manufacture and supply pheromone lures, traps and complete monitoring systems for Diamond Back Moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella. Pheromone trap data will provide an early warning to potential infestation and also indicates the density of the insect population.

The diamond back moth, Plutella xylostella is a serious insect of cabbage, kale, rapeseed, broccoli, turnip and cauliflower. On young seedlings the growing point of the plant may be damaged, often resulting in the death of the plant.

Diamond Back Moth

Three to six generations of P. xylosetella occur per year in various agro-ecological zones. The moths emerge from the over-wintered pupae at the end of May. The second flight occurs at the end of June; where the moths are more numerous and, in July and August, damage is greater. In autumn, the caterpillars spin cocoons for themselves denser than the spring and summer cocoons and then enter hibernation.

Nature of Damage

The caterpillars of the diamond back moth feed on the leaves, usually on the undersides, eating into the tissue, leaving only veins and the upper epidermis, giving the leaves a windowed appearance, which grow in size, eventually forming holes as the leaves grow and the dead tissue tears. On young seedlings, the growing point of the plant may be damaged, often resulting in death of the plant. In older plants new shoots are produced and the attacked plants produce several small heads of little value.


Russell IPM manufactures and supplies pheromone lure, traps and complete monitoring systems against the diamond back moth, Plutella xylostella.

The Delta trap is most sensitive trap to use for monitoring this insect. However, Russell IPMs Moth catcher may be used in dusty conditions or in areas with a high moth population density. Do not re-use the trap to monitor different insects as this may lead to mixed catches.

Ferolite can also be used for trapping the diamond back moth. This innovative moth trap combines light and pheromones to maximise trap catch. The trap is able to capture both the female diamond back moths as well as the male, providing an increased level of control when compared with gender specific monitoring devices.