European Peppered Moth Now Confirmed in Florida

Gary Cooper Alabama, Florida, General, Georgia, Nursery Crops, Specialty Crops, Vegetables

This update about the spread of the European Peppered Moth just in from regional vegetable extension agent Gene McAvoy in Hendry County, FL, who says Scott Krueger with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry, Plant Inspection Section advises that the European Pepper Moth (Duponchelia fovealis) is now confirmed in Florida (Orange County). FDACS found it as soon as they placed the traps. The pest was first detected in California in July, then in CO, AZ, TX and OK, and was confirmed from Georgia on 9/29/10. Hosts include tomato, pepper, corn, cucumber, herbs and more.

Duponchelia fovealis originates in the Mediterranean region and the Canary Islands, and has since been found in other parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Canada. Larvae have been intercepted numerous times in import shipments coming into the U.S. in or on fruits (especially peppers), fresh vegetables, herbs and cut flowers. Eggs are whitish-green when laid and turn red as the embryo develops. They are laid singly or in masses of 3-10, overlapping in tile-like fashion, either on the undersides of leaves close to the veins, low down on the stalks or at the base of the host plant, or in the upper soil layer.
The larvae feed externally on leaves, flowers, and buds and bore into stems and fruit.

Keep a look out for this pest and submit samples if you see something that resembles this insect. Download/view an information piece on this pestby clicking here.