Small gray bumps on Kale

Asked December 23, 2015, 10:07 AM EST

Trying to identify this pest on my kale (backyard garden). Appears on both seed-grown and purchased seedlings and on two kinds of kale (curly and Siberian). Can be rubbed or washed off if caught early and can cook/eat leaves. If left, destroys the leaf. Used Bt to get rid of green worms early in season but has no effect on this infestation. Appears to be animal vs. a blight because some fell onto my jacket and left behind small red dots (blood?) At another location (church garden), we pulled the entire crop because it was infested with these gray bumps. Would like an organic solution to removing from plants. Thank you.

Baltimore Maryland

2 Responses

This sounds like aphids. Here is our website info on them in the Grow It Eat It section, which includes control measures you can take:

While the photo of aphids on cabbage doesn't look very gray, that is misleading. Take a look at the gray aphids on this site--it probably looks more like what you're seeing:


Thank you. This is exactly the information I needed. Did not know that aphids had so many colors. I will try the spray-soap solution as I have newly-planted kale sprouts coming up in a cold frame. And, since today is Christmas, I wish everyone on your end a happy and holy holiday (as your beliefs may vary). Lee T., Baltimore