WSU Extension

Hortsense

Broccoli, Cole crops
 
Disease
Black rot 
Clubroot 
Downy mildew 
Oedema 
Insect
Aphids 
Cabbage maggot 
Flea beetles 
Imported cabbageworm 
Loopers 
Thrips 



print version| pdf version| email url    
Caption: Alfalfa looper
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
  
Broccoli, Cole crops : Loopers
(revision date: 1/22/2016)


Biology
Loopers are typically green caterpillars up to about 1-1/2" long. They may have pale or dark stripes along the body. They are distinguished by their characteristic looping or measuring-worm movement. Loopers feed on leaves of many plants, chewing holes in the leaves or feeding along leaf margins. The adult moth of the cabbage looper, one common species, is gray-brown and has a silvery spot on each forewing. Cocoons of this species can often be found attached by one side on leaves. The alfalfa looper moth is mottled brown with silver markings. Both species have a wingspan of about 1-1/2". Eggs are laid on leaves of host plants.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Cover crops with floating row covers or screen cages to prevent egg-laying by adults.
  • Hand-pick and destroy any caterpillars or cocoons found on leaves.
  • Natural enemies of caterpillars include predacious beetles, parasitic wasps, and birds. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides when possible to conserve beneficial insects.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply at 5 to 7 day-intervals starting when worms or damage is first observed (use 7-day intervals for Bonide Thuricide and Safer Brand Caterpillar Killer). Apply Bt only when caterpillars are feeding. Use a spreader-sticker with liquid Bt formulations.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Azamax Botanical Insecticide, Miticide, & Nematicide [Organic]
    Active ingredient: azadirachtin  |  EPA reg no: 71908-1-81268
  • Bonide Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew R-T-U [Organic]
    Active ingredient: spinosad (spinosyn A+D)  |  EPA reg no: 4-472
  • Bonide Thuricide BT Conc
    Active ingredient: Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki  |  EPA reg no: 4-226
  • Bug Buster-O [Organic]
    Active ingredient: pyrethrins  |  EPA reg no: 1021-1771-54705
  • Bull's-Eye Bioinsecticide
    Active ingredient: spinosad (spinosyn A+D)  |  EPA reg no: 62719-314-56872
  • ferti-lome Dipel Dust
    Active ingredient: Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki  |  EPA reg no: 7401-290
  • Naturalis L
    Active ingredient: Beauveria bassiana  |  EPA reg no: 53871-9
  • Safer Brand BioNEEM Multi-Purpose Insecticide & Repellent Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: azadirachtin  |  EPA reg no: 70051-6-42697
  • Safer Brand Caterpillar Killer for Trees, Shrubs & Vegetables Conc II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki  |  EPA reg no: 70051-106-42697
  • Safer Brand Caterpillar Killer/Trees, Shrubs, & Vegetables Conc
    Active ingredient: Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki  |  EPA reg no: 42697-23
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
Images

+ Show larger images

 
Caption: Alfalfa looper
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Alfalfa looper and damage
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Alfalfa looper adult
Photo by: OSU slide library