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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.
They crawl into the pods of garden pea plants and eat them from the inside.
Pea moths have a wingspan of around 15mm, making them a micromoth. They are grey-blue in colour.
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.
Throughout the UK and Northern Europe.
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.
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.
The larvae consume the pea pods produced by species in the genera Pisus, Lathyrus and Vicia.