Cabbage Looper Moth, Trichoplusia ni

The cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni, is a serious insect of crop plants in the crucifer family eg. cabbage, cauliflower. broccoli, broccoli, white cabbage and other cabbages.

The cabbage looper is an American insect species distributed throughout North America and Europe.

Russell IPM manufacture and supply pheromone lures, traps and complete monitoring systems for cabbage moth Trichoplusia ni. Pheromone trap data gives early warning of the infestation and also exhibits the density of the insect population.

Cabbage Looper Moth

The total life cycle duration ranges from 24-33 days. Adult female lays egg usually singly on the lower leaf surface near the leaf margin. Eggs hatch in 3-4 days. The newly emerged caterpillars are translucent white. Once feeding starts the larvae become pale green, with a thin white line running lengthwise down each side of the body and two white lines along the middle of the back. The caterpillar stage lasts for 12 to 20 days. Pupae are yellow green with a few brown patches when newly formed and gradually darken to dark brown before adult emergence. They are 3/4 inch in length. The pupal stage lasts for 9 days. Adult moths are dark, smoky, gray variegated with light greyish brown. Characteristic small silvery oval spots and U-shaped silvery white marks are on the middle of the forewings. Males have tufts of gold hair at the tip of the abdomen. Adults live for about 24 days and feed on nectars ( Full credited: Ronald F. L. Mau, and J.M. Diez April 2007).

Nature of Damage

It is primarily the larval stages that damage the crop. The first two larval stages feed on the lower side of the leaf, eating through the upper epidermis, leaving “windows” in the leaf. Older larvae chew larger holes in the leaves. They often do extensive damage to leaves. Although this pest usually damages leaves, occasional damage has been reported on watermelon rinds and on flowers of various host plants. (Accodingly Ronald F. L. Mau, and J.M. Diez April 2007)


Russell IPM manufactures and supplies pheromone lure – the Qlure, traps and complete monitoring systems for Trichoplusia ni, Cabbage Looper Moth.

Pheromone trap data gives early warning of the infestation and will also alert the user to a low level of population before it becomes serious.

The lure can be best applied with the Mothcatcher trap or Delta trap.

Application Guidelines

Lures can be changed every 4-6 weeks to get the most accurate results.

Lures Handling
Pheromone lures are a very sensitive tool. They can be affected by exposure to elevated heat and direct sunshine. Direct touching by hand may cause cross contamination leading to mixed catches in the trap. Some contaminants such as Nicotine May have repellent effect reducing trap catch.

Lure Storage
Store in a cool dry place.Shelf life can vary from 3-36 months depending on the storage temperature.See Technical Data Sheet for further details.

Trap Selection

The Deltra trap is the most sensitive trap to use for monitoring this insect. However, Moth catcher may be used in dusty conditions or in high moth population density.

Trap Density

Do not re-use the trap to monitor different insects as this may lead to mixed catches. One trap for every two hectares of large scale fields of homogenous lands.

Two traps per hectare (2trap/ha) for small holdings and in field of uneven topography.

Trap Position

Place traps near the highest point of the plant using supporting posts approximately 1 meter high, or higher if the crop is higher.

Data and Interpretation

Collect data weekly from the start of the flight of the over wintering generation. During the height of the population more frequent reading may be needed. Decisions on pesticide application should not be taken solely on the trap catch data. Climatic and biological considerations should be taken in account.

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