WSU Extension

Hortsense

Pea
 
Disease
Aphanomyces root rot 
Pea wilt 
Powdery mildew 
Root rot 
Seed rot and damping-off 
Virus diseases 
Insect
Brown marmorated stink bug 
Cutworms and armyworms 
Pea aphid 
Pea leaf weevils 
Pea Moth 
Slugs 



print version| pdf version| email url    
Caption: Pea moth larva
Photo by: A. L. Antonelli
  
Pea : Pea Moth
(revision date: 3/27/2015)


Biology
The pea moth, Cydia nigricana, is a “sometimes” pest of the homegrown peas. Its presence is rarely detected until the gardener begins to harvest mature peas. At this time, as the peas are shelled, it becomes obvious that if present – a yellowish white caterpillar about ½ inch long at maturity, has been dining on the seeds. Evidence of its past presence includes the obvious emergence hole in the side of the pod, copious excremental pellets (or frass), and irregular cavities in the seeds themselves. Affected pods become yellow or ripen prematurely. The larvae spend the winter in a silken soil cocoon found just below the soil surface. They pupate in the late spring. Sometime in the growing season (exact time coincides with heat unit accumulations), the adults emerge, mate, and lay individual eggs on blossoms, stems, leaves, or pods. Pea moths attack peas, sweet peas, and vetch. At hatching, the young larvae burrow through the pod leaving a small, almost undetectable entry hole. After 2-4 weeks, the larvae leave the pod to seek an overwintering site in the soil.
Management Options


Non-Chemical Management
  • To an extent, the problem may be avoided by planting as early as possible and not delaying harvest.
  • If the problem is historical, then rotation out of host plant types for a year or two will help immensely to suppress the problem for your next pea crop.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Chemical management of this pest is not recommended for the home gardener due to their feeding locale.

Images

+ Show larger images

 
Caption: Pea moth larva
Photo by: A. L. Antonelli
Caption: Pea moth in pea with frass
Photo by: A. L. Antonelli