Bugs On Kale – Mitigation Plans

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Last Updated on March 13, 2022 by Cristina

Bugs on kale can be pretty annoying. The good news is that there can be hope when it comes to finding an effective solution to this issue.

Bugs are everywhere both indoors and outdoors, but when we talk about outdoor garden bugs, we are mostly referring to garden bugs that affect our plants. It is not uncommon for plants such as kale to experience bugs infestation. Fortunately, you can imbibe different measures to eliminate bugs that plague your plants.

Bugs on kale are what we will be looking at in this post and we will be offering you some measures to mitigate bugs infestation on your kale.

Common Bugs Of Kale Plant

There are different bugs that are common to kale plants. Some of them include aphids, flea beetles, thrips, cabbage butterflies, harlequin bugs, whiteflies, and stink bugs.

Bugs On Kale: How To Mitigate The Situation

At some point during your farming period, there are chances that your plants will experience a bugs attack. The ideal thing is to know how to resolve the situation so your plants can get things back to normal farming.

Kale plants are quite attractive which is why they are ornamental plants. This ornamental cabbage is a hardy plant in all United States Department of Agriculture of plant hardiness zones.

Bugs On Kale How To Mitigate The Situation

Also, the fact that kale plants are attractive plants makes them enticing to some insects including caterpillars. They are cole crops, hence they’re prone to insect attacks as well as worm attacks that are known to attack cole crops.

Below we have outlined the steps you can take to mitigate the situation of bug attacks on your garden.

Bugs On Kale Identification

The first step to solving bugs attacks on your garden plant is to identify the type of bugs you are dealing with. Although there may be times when you aren’t able to see what bugs are attacking your plant, you can still get some hints by the types of bites seen on your plant.

The pests of kale crops usually chew holes through the leaves. But the good thing is that they can be killed or eliminated through natural and nontoxic methods.

Now, let’s take a look at some bugs that can attack your kale and give you some measures on how to solve the situation:

1.    Aphid

Aphids are one common bug known to infest or attack kale. They are soft-bodied small insects with sucking mouthparts. A bunch or large group of aphids can show up on kale plants thereby causing a fuzzy or spotted appearance.

Aphids are capable of sucking the juice out of the plant which can bring about discolored leaves. Also, this bug can cause a sticky substance to be produced called honeydew and this can cause the growth of fungus.

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If you have just a few infestations of aphid, you can just spray off these bugs with a hose or simply remove them by hand. You should remove and discard leaves that are infested with aphids or damaged by aphids.

For larger aphid infestation, you can release ladybugs as they are beneficial bugs that can feed on great numbers of aphids without damaging your crop.

The parasitic wasp Aphelinus abdominalis is another beneficial insect that you can use in controlling aphids. This parasitic wasp will eat the pest and can also lay eggs inside a living aphid.

When the eggs laid inside the aphid hatches into larvae, the aphids dies and turn into a dry shell known as a mummy. When the adult parasitic wasp matures, they will bore or chew a hole in the mummy and emerge from the mummy and ready to attack more aphids.

The use of neem oil is another way you can mitigate aphid infestation. Neem oil is safe to be used n your edible kale plants because they are made from the seed of the neem tree.

2.    Flea Beetles – Bugs On Kale

Flea beetles are tiny and they love to chew on kale leaves and they leave tiny pits and holes in the leaves. Even though these bugs may look tiny, they tend to arrive in huge numbers thereby causing a lot of damage to your plant.


The solution to this bug attack on your kale plant is by making use of natural insecticides.

One type of natural product you can use to mitigate flea beetles’ attack on your kale is Diatomaceous earth (DE) and thus is a powder made from fossilized remains of tiny organisms known as diatoms. DE is a sharp substance that proves effective on a variety of destructive insects like flea beetles. The good thing is that it is safe for bigger creatures such as humans and dogs.

When you sprinkle DE on your plants, the flea beetle will be killed or eliminated. Ensure you only use food DE near kale and other edible plants.

Another type of natural insecticide you can use to eliminate flea beetles is spinosad and the compound is gotten from soil-dwelling bacteria.

3.    Harlequin Bug – Bugs On Kale

You can identify harlequin bugs with their shielded shape with black and red or black and yellow markings. Harlequin bugs possess sucking mouthparts that use in drinking the sap from leaves.

Their sucking effect on plants results in white spots known as stipples. Once the infestation spreads and becomes large, it can cause your kale plants to turn brown and wilt.

Harlequin Bug On Kale


If the bug infestation isn’t so great, you can simply handpick the adults and eggs of these bugs and put them in soapy water to kill them.

Neem oil sprays can as well be used to control the infestation of harlequin bugs. Pyrethrin or spinosad can as well be used to control harlequin bugs on your kale plant.

Conclusion – Bugs On Kale

Bugs on kale can be a worrisome issue for many gardeners. Fortunately, there are things you can do to solve the situation and we have listed some solutions for you in this post.


What are the small white bugs on my basil and kale?

You may find white bugs such as whiteflies on the leaves on your basil and kale. These bugs are so annoying and can cause damage to our crops and reduce our yield. This is why we need to identify the type of bugs infesting our plants and eliminate them on time.

What are dusty bugs on kale?

Once you notice any cluster of dusty bugs on your kale, you may have an aphid infestation. Aphids are one of the weirdest and most annoying pests known to a vegetable garden. Fortunately, you can go for natural and easy measures to mitigate the situation and have a normal vegetable garden.

What to use to get rid of bugs on kale and cabbage?

To get rid of bugs you may find on your kale and cabbage, simply spray them with a strong force of water such as a hose. You can also use natural insecticides such as Diatomaceous earth (DE).

How to kill bugs on kale naturally?

You can kill bugs kale naturally by simply handpicking them and placing them inside soapy water. Another natural way to kill bugs on kale is to spray your plant white water hose or you can simply spray neem oil on your plant.

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