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Pea moth is one of the most damaging pea pests in this country and in Europe.

The caterpillars (larvae) feed on peas within the pod. In vining peas, there is a risk of crop rejection because of contamination of the produce by damaged peas which cannot be removed mechanically. In combining peas for premium markets including human consumption or seed, damaged peas are removed by the merchant and the price paid to the grower is reduced in proportion.

Although moth damage can reduce quality, the yield loss is rarely significant and the presence of damage in peas for animal feed compounding is not important.

Control in these crops may only be justifiable where the damage levels in previous crops have been high. In this video Dr Becky Howard, Research and Development Manager at PGRO, explains why UK farmers growing peas should monitor for pea moth, as well as a practical demonstration of how to install two types of traps to assess the pest level. Becky goes on to show what pea moth damage does to the end sample of the crop.

For farmers wanting an early indication of when pea moth is likely to appear in their crops, the PGRO's prediction tool is available at


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Pulses are leguminous crops harvested for dry protein-rich seed, with peas (pisum sativum) and beans (vicia faba) being the major crops in the UK.

As the UK's centre of excellence for peas and beans, the PGRO has a long and highly valued track record of providing authoritative, up to date information and project work based on solid, reliable research.

Invertebrate pests cause problems in agriculture when the level of injury they cause reaches a point where the crop yield is significantly reduced.   

Peas (pisum sativum) are grown either for combining dry seed (combining peas) or harvesting fresh as a vegetable or for freezing (vining peas).

This page is for the resources available for monitoring pest activity.