Garden Pests Series: P…

Thoughts and musings

Garden Pests Series: P…

Lewis | April 29, 2015 | 0 Comments

…is for Pea Moth.

The first Garden Pests Series blog of the week; this post is more aimed at those gardeners who grow vegetables. If that mean you, whether you grow in your garden or allotment, this is definitely of interest to you. Today, the letter ‘P’ stands for pea moth, an organism that can ravish your garden cause by the caterpillars of a small moth. The damage that pea moths can cause is avoidable, but often the most severe damage is only seen at harvest time. So I recommend you read on to help your vegetable garden avoid these pests that certainly have the capability of ruining more than just a crop or two!

A typical pea moth is very small – a wingspan of just 15mm – and is brownish-grey in colour but is it their larvae, or caterpillars, feed on the pods of garden peas, hence their name. Despite the fact that pea plants are targeted by pea moths heavily, they are exclusive; pea moths have also been known to affect sweet peas, tare, vetches, clover and even cabbages.

When looking for a pea moth outbreak, the main indications you should be aware of are:

  • Clusters of eggs found on the leaves of an affected plant;
  • Small caterpillars feeding on the inside of pea pods; and,
  • Any evidence of holes made on pea pods by caterpillars for entrance to feed.

They are at their most active only during July and August, but this should not be viewed as a positive. The can really cause some damage and you should be very wary and vigilant towards this threat. This is why you should know of the different treatments available to you. They are all organic treatment methods, however, as there is no chemical means specified for pea moth outbreaks. You may be able to pick up some pesticides that will help you, but as always, we implore you to always read the label and take necessary precautions regarding protective equipment.

Nevertheless, organic means are available. If you see affected pea pods, remove them by hand and burn them, as well as removing nearby plants that have the potential to play host to pea moths and their larvae. We also recommend to try and time the sowing of peas either before or after the general times of the year the pea moth is at its most active and isn’t breeding. Prevention-wise, you could use netting within planting beds and pheromone traps to rid the area of adult pea moths. Finally, you could always, of course, call upon insectivorous birds to help you! Encourage them to your garden with feeders, as not all birds are a threat to your gardening efforts.

So there you have it! The latest in the Garden Pests Series. There’s been quite a few now and luckily for both us and you, there are still more to come. What has been your favourite issue so far? Leave us a comment in the section below and tell us your thoughts.



Photo credit: <a href=””>Haprog_</a> / <a href=””>Source</a> / <a href=””>CC BY</a>