Pea Moth

Cydia nigricana

Pea Moth

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Pea moths, Cydia nigricana are a species of micromoth in the tortrix moth family, Tortricidae. They are considered a pest of multiple pea producing plants. The larvae feed on the pea pods produced by species in the genera Pisus, Lathyrus and Vicia, burrowing in and consuming the pods from the inside out.

Traits

They crawl into the pods of garden pea plants and eat them from the inside.

Appearance

Pea moths have a wingspan of around 15mm, making them a micromoth. They are grey-blue in colour.

Symptoms

If you open up the pea pods you may find caterpillars inside, they typically damage the peas, causing brown discolouration. You can also usually find piles of caterpillar excrement.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Tortricidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Throughout the UK and Northern Europe.

Biological treatment

To prevent female moths from laying eggs on your pea plants, you can use horticultural insect-proof mesh to cover plants so that the moths cannot reach them. Alternatively, because pea moths lay eggs within the flower, early and late sowings of seed are recommended. This should promote flowering during periods where pea moths are not in flight and are less likely to lay eggs.

Chemical treatment

Pesticides can be effective, but its recommended to try natural methods of pest control as chemical pesticides can harm wildlife. Please check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use and please take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions. Spraying is optimal at the beginning of flowering and two weeks after flowering has finished to reduce damage to plants. You could also use insecticides once the flowers start to die off and the pods start to form.

Attracts

The larvae consume the pea pods produced by species in the genera Pisus, Lathyrus and Vicia.

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