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The Silver Y Moth (Autographa gamma) normally migrates from the African and the Mediterranean region to the U.K. from June. The moths are brown to grey with an irregular white marking, and can be active day and night. They fly from plant to plant, or flower to flower, and are often observed sitting on leaves with their wings folded back. The moths feed on nectar and the females lay eggs either as individual eggs, or in groups. One female can lay up to 2,000 eggs. The eggs are round and flat, and of grey to white colouring. After 10-14 days caterpillars will hatch from the eggs. The caterpillars are green, with a light coloured stripe, nocturnal, and have a looping way of moving. The caterpillar, when fully grown, will eventually pupate as a green to black pupa, often covered in silk threads and wrapped in leaves.
Plant damage is caused by the caterpillar stage of the Silver Y Moth life cycle. The caterpillars will attack greenhouse grown plants and outdoor crops, such as Peas and Beans. The growing points on plants are often damaged and sometimes leaves can become skeletonised after caterpillar feeding. Damage to Pea and Bean pods can be severe and result in an unsuccessful yield. The caterpillars will also leave frass on plants.
Apply our Silver Y Moth Pheromone Traps to catch the adult male moths before they breed. This will reduce egg laying and caterpillar development, whilst also providing you with a helpful warning as to the likelihood of an impending infestation.
If Silver Y Moth caterpillars are present on plants, first try to physically remove them, but if this is not possible, apply our Caterpillar Killer Nematodes directly onto the caterpillars. The nematodes enter inside the caterpillars and kill them. Nematodes provide a safe and natural way to kill pests on edible plants, as they are harmless to humans.