How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Seasonal development and life cycle—Cabbage maggot

The life cycles of maggots on vegetable crops are similar. Adult maggots are dark gray flies that resemble the common housefly. Females lay small white eggs in plant stems right at the soil line or in cracks in the soil near plant stems. Eggs hatch in a few days and the maggots burrow through to roots or germinating seeds. The maggots are small, white, and legless -- usually less that 0.33 inch when full grown. After feeding for one to several weeks, maggots pupate in roots or surrounding soil. Pupae are brown and egg shaped. In most California growing areas, these maggots are active throughout the year and have several generations.

 

Adult maggot
Adult maggot

Cabbage maggot larva
Cabbage maggot larva


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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