How to recognize European pepper moth 

The European pepper moth is a moth that belongs to the Crambidae familyAdults are about 20 mm in size and light to dark brownThey can be recognized by their abdomen that is positioned straight up. Eggs are deposited along leaf veins on the upper and lower side of the leaves, individually or in small groups on lower parts of the plant. One female can deposit about 250 eggs that are red and elongated. The caterpillars emerge after a week and grow in four weeks to 2-3 centimeter, after which they pupate. The pupa, which is protected by a cocoon made of soil, develops into a moth after a week. The adult then lives for about ten days. It is assumed that there is no diapause. European pepper moth prefers a hidden lifestyle and high humidity. 

European pepper moth Duponchelia fovealis
European pepper moth
European pepper moth caterpillar Duponchelia fovealis
European pepper moth caterpillar

European pepper moths damage and distribution 

Caterpillars of the European pepper moth live hidden at the base of the plant. They feed from the roots causing plants to wither and die. Stems and leaves are fed upon too. Older caterpillars will drill through the stem, leaving plants more vulnerable to fungal infections.

European pepper moth life cycle

  • 250 eggs per female
  • egg to adult in approx. 6 weeks
  • caterpillar grow 2-3 cm in four weeks, then pupate
  • pupa in silk cocoon with soil and frass

European pepper moth host plants

  • pot plants
  • rose
  • tomato
  • egg plant
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European pepper moth

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Common caterpillar and moth species

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European pepper moth
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processionary