WSU Extension


Turnip, Rutabaga
Boron deficiency 
Cabbage maggot 
Flea beetles 

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Caption: Cabbage maggot damage on turnip
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Turnip, Rutabaga : Cabbage maggot
(revision date: 6/6/2014)

The cabbage maggot is the larvae of a gray fly that is about 3/16" long. Females lay eggs near the base of plants such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, and turnip. The white larvae make tunnels and grooves in the roots and underground portions of stems. Soft rots often infect these areas, causing further damage. The leaves of affected plants are often yellow and stunted. Severe damage can result in wilting and death of plants. Younger plants are more severely damaged. Mature larvae can be up to 3/8" long. They pupate in the soil, with up to three generations occurring in a season. The last generation of the season overwinters in the soil, hatching into adults in early spring.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Do not replant susceptible crops in areas infested the previous year.
  • Cover crops with floating row covers or screen cages prior to emergence of adult flies to prevent egg-laying. Do not put row covers over soil previously infested with these maggots.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


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Caption: Cabbage maggot damage on turnip
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Cabbage maggot larvae
Photo by: Unknown