Diamondback Moth

The Diamondback Moth is a brownish-white moth with a wingspan of + 14 mm.

Also known as:
Cabbage moth

Recognize diamondback moth
Diamondback moth, photo: Olei - CC By-SA 2.5

Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) is a brownish-white moth with a wingspan of + 14 mm. In regions where cold winters are rare, the diamondback moth can be a pest. The moth is actually found all over the British Isles.
Host plants are crucifers (Brassicaceae). The larvae make distinctive square “window panes” in the leaves of cabbages with part of the leaf surface spared, creating the characteristic window panes. Adult larvae (caterpillars) eat away the mesophyll completely.
The diamondback moth is found almost everywhere in the world and is a true migratory moth: 3,000 km can be covered by the diamondback moth. Diamondback moths hibernate as adult moths on the soil between the plant debris of crucifers.

Where to find


Tricky to to control; remove infested plants.


The parasitic wasp and lacewing are natural enemies and are used in horticulture to to control diamondback moth.
For greenhouse crops, cover the open windows with insect-proof mesh to keep diamondback moths out.
Plant nasturtium as a trap crop between cabbages.