Moths are a family of butterflies, many representatives are serious pests of woody plants. Moth caterpillars are very different from other butterfly caterpillars in the way they travel. Moving, they are pulled forward and, grasping the substrate with their front legs, pull the back of the body, lifting it high. This is because they do not have 8 pairs of legs, like most caterpillars, but only five: 3 pairs of chest and 2 pairs of abdominal, which are located on the back of the body.
Plants used to control pest. Belena, raven eye, onion, nightshade, pepper, tansy, wormwood, pharmacy chamomile, tobacco, thermopsis, celandine
Characteristics of moths
The moth moth, which is also a surveyor, is distinguished by a narrow weak body and wide wings, the span of which varies from 1 to 5 cm. On average, it is limited to 3 cm. The color is mostly nondescript and corresponds to the habitat of the insect, providing reliable masking. The peak of flight activity occurs at night.
Interestingly, in most species of moths, females do not fly, since their wings are poorly developed. This fact is often used in the destruction of pests.
Moths have no eyes. They are guided by the perfect nervous system and a special Johnston organ, which analyzes the fluctuations of sound waves and the direction of air flow. Through this body, butterflies evaluate the environment and communicate with each other.
Considering the structure of the insect, the question involuntarily arises of how the moth breathes. On the sides of the butterfly are spiracles. When inhaled, air enters the respiratory tubes and is delivered to all organs through a dense network of branched tracheas.
The oral apparatus of adults is designed in such a way that they can only eat flower nectar of plants. Harder food: leaves, stems, their weak proboscis is not able to gnaw.
Moth Butterfly Features
The wingspan of the moth butterfly can vary from 0.95 to 5.1 cm, but in most individuals it reaches 3 cm. Butterflies have a weak body, as well as delicate and wide wings. But there are also such species that have a thick body, while their wings are underdeveloped. Their legs are thin, they have no eyes, and their proboscis is weak in spiral shape. As a rule, the hind wings are rounded with a pinch, and the front wings are wide-triangular.
Most often, such butterflies fly at night, while their flight is uneven and weak. When the wings are at rest, they can be folded by a house or spread flat. In males, the color of the wings is protective, and they are well developed, while the antennae are cirrus. And in females, most species either do not have wings, or they are shortened, the shape of the antennae is threadlike. As a rule, the caterpillar of such a butterfly is long, naked and thin, worm-shaped, they are most often painted in the color of shoots, foliage or bark. Caterpillars have 2 front pairs of legs that are undeveloped, and therefore they crawl quite unusually, as if they are measuring space with their body like a span, or with a land surveying chain, this is what influenced the formation of the name of this family. The muscles of the caterpillars are very developed, it can stand on its hind legs for a long time, stretching out the body, at that time the larvae are similar to a broken branch or to leafy cuttings. In winter, pupae are found in cracks in the cortex; they are smooth and do not have a cocoon. Pupae can be painted in gray, yellow, brownish-red or green, and they are found in spider web nests on trees, as well as in soil or on its surface. When adults leave the pupa, they lead a nocturnal lifestyle and eat the nectar of flowers until the moment of mating. However, there are species that do not need nutrition. When mating occurs, the females arrange their oviposition on the kidneys, needles, foliage, seed boxes or branches. Caterpillars that emerge from eggs begin to actively feed, after which they pupate.
Moths are pine-eating and leaf-eating harmful insects, they gnaw at both the vegetative and generative organs of various plants. They can greatly harm fruit bushes and trees in large spaces. Due to their detrimental activity, the quality of the fruit deteriorates significantly, it also negatively affects productivity, resistance to frost and other adverse factors becomes lower. This pest is characterized by systematic outbreaks of mass reproduction, their consequences can last for several years, during these periods, insects can eat all leaf plates on trees.
This pest, like all lepidopteran insects, has a protective color, so it is invisible on the surface of the pine bark. On the wings of a grayish-brown color there are zigzags, as well as specks of white, black or dark brown. The larvae are colored green and they feed on needles. At the peak of gluttony, whole hectares of young spruce and pine can be left without foliage.
This type of moth has changed its color over the course of a century. This happened due to the fact that soot settles on the birch trunk, which makes the bark darker. In this regard, butterflies began to produce black pigment. On the front surface of its wings there are black spots, as a result, an insect sitting on a birch trunk is almost impossible to see. Larvae of this species have a green color. They eat the foliage of both birch and hazel and alder.
It is a forest Eurasian species, its wingspan reaches 1.3–1.5 cm. The wings and body are black in color, and on the front wings there is a thin white border on the top. The velvety green caterpillars mostly prefer to feed on bumps and earth chestnuts. But if there are no such plants nearby, then they can settle on others.
Gooseberry moth, or gooseberry
A butterfly of this species has a very spectacular color. On the head and back are yellow hairs, as well as small black spots that form a t-shaped pattern, which is clearly visible on a white background. And on the lower part of the wings are yellowish-black stripes and large spots that merge into a wave-shaped line. On the surface of the caterpillars there are many spots of large size of a dark color, because of which they also look very impressive. Such a caterpillar eats the leaves of gooseberries, red and black currants, as well as rosaceae crops (for example: apple trees, plums and apricots). Caterpillars eat buds, foliage and fruit seeds, and those areas that they injured glue together with cobwebs and pupate in them.
They have an inconspicuous appearance. On the surface of the wings of gray color are transversely arranged dashes of dark color. Caterpillars of this species settle on pome seeds and stone fruits cultivated plants, as well as on deciduous trees growing in the wild. They gnaw out young bones and buds from the inside. In autumn, females lay their eggs in cracks in the bark, where in the winter months they can withstand temperatures of minus 7 degrees. In order for the cycle to proceed fully, such pests need low temperatures.
In this type of butterfly can be painted in cream, brown or pale green. On the surface of the wings there are 2 strips of wavy shape. The caterpillars of this butterfly feed on buds, foliage and buds, while they settle both on garden crops (cherry plum, cherry, apple, rowan and blueberry), and on wild plants (birch, oak, maple, linden and rose hip). These larvae have characteristic ragged bite marks.
Big green moth
The butterfly is very large, its wingspan reaches from 4.5 to 5 cm. Butterflies that have just pupated have a rich green color, and they are decorated with its clearly distinguishable transversely arranged strips of white color. This species is found in forests throughout Europe. Most often, caterpillars can be found on the foliage of birch and hazel, but they can also harm other plants. Caterpillars are brown in color, and their length can vary from 2.5 to 3 cm. During the winter, the pest hides in the cracks of the bark or burrows in the ground, and in spring it turns green and brown spots appear on it.
Most often, gardeners resort to the following agrotechnical methods of control:
- It is necessary to systematically inspect trees and shrubs in the garden in order to detect settled moths as soon as possible.
- The surface of the trunk circle must be loosened regularly from the beginning of spring to the last days of April, as well as from the first weeks of autumn to the beginning of frosts.
- In summer and autumn, the soil must be dug up near the trees.
- Removing moss and dead bark from trees mechanically.
- In the early days of March and October, the trees must be whitened.
- Mechanical methods of struggle
Mechanical methods of struggle are the most laborious, but they are distinguished by their safety:
- Gather caterpillars regularly with your hands, or shake them onto fabric pre-spread under a bush or tree. Then they are burned.
- The use of adhesive belts.
- Collect and burn spider web nests found on trees or shrubs. Be sure to clean the trunk circle from plant debris.
These methods imply that you need to attract natural enemies of the moths to the garden plot, which include tahini flies and riders. To do this, it is recommended to grow clover, sunflower, fatselia or decorative onions on the site. Also treat crops with biological pesticides.
Moth remedies (drugs)
Experts advise that insecticides to control moths be used for prevention, for this, garden crops are processed in early spring. During the growing season, plants are sprayed only with biological agents, even if there are a lot of harmful insects on them. For prevention, treat berry shrubs and fruit trees before flowering begins. Spraying crops is recommended by the following means:
- Akarin. This is a biological insecticide-acaricidal means of contact-intestinal action, which is able to destroy various harmful insects.
- Karbofos. Acaricidal and insecticidal preparation of a wide spectrum of action, which belongs to the class of organophosphorus compounds. It is used for the complete and rapid extermination of leaf-eating and sucking pests.
- Zolon. This is an acaricidal and insecticidal preparation of contact-intestinal action, which remains highly effective even at low air temperatures. But this remedy is highly toxic for warm-blooded animals.
- Kinmix. Such an insecticidal preparation of contact-intestinal action is used to kill sucking and gnawing pests.
- Decis. Contact-intestinal insecticidal agent belongs to the group of synthetic pyrethroids. It is used to get rid of leaf-eating and sucking harmful insects.
- Fitoverm. Biological insect acaricide, characterized by intestinal contact action, is used to get rid of pests that have settled on crops growing in open or closed ground.
- Bitoxibacillin. This is an insectoacaricidal preparation of biological origin, which is able to protect various crops from harmful insects. The last time before harvesting, any plants are sprayed for 5 days, and medicinal plants for 1.5 weeks.
- Lepidocide. Such an insecticide of intestinal action and biological origin is very effective. It can be used for processing at any time throughout the season.
- Dendrobacillin. This insecticidal agent is used to process crops during the growing season in order to destroy leaf-eating and other harmful insects. Any crops for the last time can be treated with the product 5 days before harvesting, and medicinal plants 10 days before harvesting.
Pesticides are very effective in combating many harmful insects. But it should be borne in mind that they include toxic substances that can accumulate in the fruits. If there are not very many pests, then experts recommend not using powerful insecticidal drugs, they can be replaced with folk remedies, of which there are many. If we compare the effectiveness of folk remedies and chemicals, it is not more than 30-40 percent, which is why several regular treatments are required to destroy the pest, but in the end you will be able to save not only the plant itself, but also the quality of the fruits.
Most often, gardeners resort to the use of the following folk remedies:
- Broth tops tomato. Pour 1 kilogram of finely chopped tops of tomatoes into a bucket of water, mix everything and leave the mixture for 4-5 hours. After that, bring it to a boil and keep on low heat for 2 to 3 hours. The cooled and strained product is diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 1 .
- Burdock infusion. With finely chopped burdock leaves, fill the bucket 1/3, after which water is poured into it to the brim. The infusion will be ready after three days, it is filtered and begin to spray the bushes.
- Euphorbia decoction. Half a bucket of water is combined with four kilograms of finely cut shoots of milkweed rod-shaped. The mixture is boiled for 2.5–3 hours, the cooled and filtered broth is poured into a bucket and the water is poured into it to the brim. This tool will be enough for a couple of treatments, while the first one is carried out after the appearance of the caterpillars, and the second - four days after the first.
- Hot pepper broth. Combine a liter of water with 0.1 kg of crushed fruit of hot pepper, boil the mixture for 60 minutes and leave it for two days to insist. Then, directly in the broth, crush the pepper to a mushy state. A strained broth is used as follows: pour 1 tbsp. In 1 bucket of water. funds and 50 mg of liquid soap (for better adhesion).
- Wormwood broth. Combine 2 liters of water with 1 kilogram of wilted wormwood herb, the mixture is boiled for 10 to 15 minutes. The cooled broth is filtered and poured into a bucket, into which water is then poured to the brim. The agent is treated with the plant regularly 1 time per week.
- Yarrow infusion. Pour 0.8 kg of dried yarrow herb into the container, which is collected during flowering. It is poured with freshly boiled water and left for 30–40 minutes, after this infusion is poured into a bucket and the water is poured into it to the brim, and the medium is again allowed to infuse for 40 minutes. Before starting to spray the plants, strain the product and mix it with 50 ml of liquid soap.
- Tansy powder. Dried shoots, foliage and tansy flowers are ground to a powder state and dusted with plants.
In order to protect plants and crops from moths, preventive measures are taken already in the fall, namely, clean the surface of the soil near plants from leafless leaves and destroy them. Then dig the soil in the near-stem circle of shrubs and trees. From early spring, it will be necessary to carry out two preventive sprayings of horticultural crops, for this they use Karbofos or another means of similar action. The first treatment is carried out after the buds begin to open, and the second when the plants bloom. After fruits are formed on bushes or trees, it is recommended to use only herbal infusions or decoctions for spraying them.
As preventive measures, try to take good care of the plants and follow the rules of agricultural technology, as all gardeners are aware that harmful insects do not settle on strong and healthy plants. In this regard, clean the surface of the trunk circles, remove weed in time, carry out regular weeding and watering, and then maybe the moths will never settle on your trees and shrubs.
What does the moth caterpillar look like
Adult moth does no harm to plantations and even benefits by pollinating flowers. The indirect harm of the butterfly lies in the laying of eggs, from which the gluttonous offspring appears. The moth caterpillar can be distinguished by the following signs:
- the length of the thin body ranges from 5-7 cm,
- the arrangement of the abdominal legs characteristic only for this species: on the seventh and ninth segment of the abdomen,
- during movement, the caterpillar bends like a loop in the middle part of the body and moves the abdominal legs to the chest legs, then strengthening, it pulls the body forward, which gives the impression that it measures the ground.
The characteristic movement of the moth caterpillar has much in common with measuring the distance with the fingers (span), which is reflected in the name of the family.
The color of the tracks is different. They disguise themselves as foliage, tree bark. At the moment of danger, a protective posture is taken: the body is pulled out at an angle to the surface on which the abdominal legs are located and held. In this position, the moth caterpillars can be easily mistaken for a dry knot.
Питается молодое поколение в зависимости от видовой принадлежности в разное время года: весной, летом, осенью. Поедают почки, бутоны, стебли, листья растений. Most of them are omnivores and only a few of them limit the diet to one culture.
It lives everywhere where there are coniferous trees. The pine moth has the same body structure as all representatives of this family, its color is distinguished:
- the males are dark brown in color, on the wings there are small inclusions of white or yellow hue and a large triangle at the base,
- the wings of females are rusty with yellow spots,
- a young green caterpillar with a yellow head, its size does not exceed 3 mm, as it grows older, it acquires a yellow-green color with white longitudinal stripes and grows to 3 cm,
- the green pupa is 12-14 mm long; at the end of the pupation stage it becomes dark brown.
Caterpillars of pine needles feed, in its absence they do not neglect cedar, fir, spruce. In dry summers they begin to multiply actively and can destroy large areas of coniferous stands. Trees after the invasion of pests lose their crown, weaken, dry out and are not of value to the industry.
One pine moth caterpillar eats 3.5 kg of needles.
Mating begins in early summer. The female lays 28-30 eggs in rows, 4-7 pieces in each.
The moth tore off
The moth peeled not very picky in food and with pleasure harms all fruit trees. Rosehip, willow, hazel, blueberry, birch do not bypass their attention. What a gluttonous look looks like:
- male with straw yellow wings with black dots, span reaches 5 cm, eagerly flies to the light, years begin in mid-September,
- females without wings, a white body with black spots, while the male flies, crawls into the trees closer to the apex and lays yellow eggs under the kidneys,
- brown or yellow caterpillars emerge from eggs in April and eat around the kidneys, causing damage to orchards.
The female moth peeled is capable of laying from 200 to 800 eggs.
The large green moth is quite large in size. The wingspan is 45-50 mm. Freshly pupated butterflies are rich in green with transverse white stripes. As you age, the color of the wings fades.
Inhabits throughout Europe in shrubs and forests. Prefers hazel and birch, but does not neglect other deciduous trees. Young brown caterpillar 25-30 mm long. Winters in the soil, under the bark. In spring, it turns green with brown spots - reminders of the old color.
Butterfly Moth - Description
The moth butterfly has a wingspan of 9.5 to 51 mm, but in most of the insects it reaches 30 mm. The body of the butterflies is weak, the wings are wide and tender, although there are species among the moths with a thick body and underdeveloped wings. The eyes of the moths are absent, the proboscis is weak, spiral, legs are thin. The front wings are usually wide-angled, and the hind wings are rounded, with a pinch. Moths fly mainly at night, their flight is weak and uneven. At rest, the wings are most often flat spread or folded by a house. In males, they are well developed and have a protective color, and the antennae of males are cirrus. In many female moths, the wings are shortened or not at all, and the antennae are filiform.
The moth caterpillar is most often naked, long, thin, worm-shaped, usually colored to the color of leaves, stems or bark. The two front pairs of legs at the caterpillars are undeveloped, and because of this they creep strangely, as if measuring space with their body, like an earth surveyor chain, or a span - hence the name of this family. The larva of the moth has so developed muscles that it can stand on its hind legs for a long time, stretching its body: at these moments, the caterpillars look like leaf petioles or broken branches.
Smooth, cocoon-free, red-brown, gray, green or yellow pupae winter in cracks in the bark, in spider nests on trees, in the ground, or on its surface. After exiting the pupa until mating, adult moths lead a nocturnal lifestyle and eat nectar of flowers, but there are species that do not need food. After mating, the females lay their eggs on seed boxes, buds, branches, leaves or needles. Caterpillars hatched from eggs feed very intensely, then pupate.
Moths are leaf-eating and pine-eating pests that eat up generative and vegetative organs of plants and can cause serious harm to fruit trees and shrubs in large spaces. As a result of their wrecking activity, the quality of fruits deteriorates, crop yields decrease, winter hardiness of plants and resistance to other adverse factors are weakened. Moths are characterized by periodic outbreaks of mass reproduction, the consequences of which can last several years, and in such periods, moths can completely destroy the leaves on plants.
Widely distributed in the western part of Eurasia. The tail moth has a distinctive feature - small tails on the hind wings. The young butterfly is yellow-lemon in color, which quickly dims and becomes creamy. Brown caterpillars with characteristic protrusions in the form of cones.
It is rare to see a butterfly moth tailed, due to its short life cycle. The short years begin in late June and end in early July.
Types of Moth
Pine moth, like all lepidopteran pests, it has a protective color that makes it invisible against the background of a pine bark: gray-brown wings are decorated with zigzags and black, white and dark brown spots. The green caterpillars of the pine moth feed on needles and, at the peak of gluttony, can deprive leaves of whole hectares of young pines or Christmas trees.
Birch moth over the past hundred years has changed its color. This is due to the fact that the soot settling on the birch trunks made their bark darker, so the birch moth butterfly learned to produce black pigment: the outer side of its wings is covered with black spots, and the butterfly sitting on the birch practically merges with the trunk. Green birch moth caterpillars. They feed on leaves not only of birch, but also of alder and hazel.
Black moth - Eurasian forest species with a wingspan of 13-15 mm. Both the body and the wings of a black butterfly, a thin white border runs along the top of the front wings. The caterpillars of this species are velvety green, they prefer to eat earthen chestnuts and bumps, although in the absence of these plants pests can change their tastes.
Fir moth lives in the Far East and in the eastern part of Siberia. Her grayish wings adorn gray or white wave-like lines. The caterpillar of the fir moth is like a fragment of a dry branch. Larvae usually feed on larch and fir needles.
Gooseberry moth, or the gooseberry has a bright color: on the back and head, yellow hairs and black spots form a T-shaped pattern, clearly visible on a white background, and below on the wings there are large merging spots and black-yellow lines on the wings in a wavy line. The caterpillar of this moth, strewn with large dark spots, also has an elegant appearance. The caterpillar damages not only gooseberries, black and red currants, but also pink plants: plums, apple trees, apricots. The caterpillar feeds on leaves, buds and seeds of berries, and glues the damaged areas with cobwebs and pupates in them.
Winter moth It looks discreet: there are transverse dark lines on gray wings. Caterpillars of this species damage stone fruit and pome crops, as well as wild deciduous trees, eating buds and young bones from the inside. Eggs laid in autumn hibernate in cracks in the crust at temperatures up to -7 ˚C. For a full cycle of the winter moth, low temperatures are necessary.
Tore off - under this gross name there is a brown, cream or greenish butterfly, whose wings are decorated with two wave-like stripes. Its larvae damage leaves, buds and buds of not only apple, cherry plum, mountain ash, cherries and blueberries, but also wild maples, birches, lindens, oaks and rose hips, leaving characteristic ragged bite marks on them.
Big green moth differs in large sizes: the wingspan of it can reach 45-50 mm. Freshly pupated butterflies are painted in a bright green color, against which transverse white stripes are clearly visible. This species lives in the forests of all Europe, eating mainly leaves of hazel and birch, but this does not mean that it is not dangerous for other hardwoods. The brown caterpillar of the green moth reaches a length of 25-30 cm. The insect hibernates underground and in the cracks of the bark, and in the spring it acquires a green color with brown spots.
Mulberry mothdistributed mainly in Central Asia. Females of this species do not have wings, while males have brownish-gray wings. Moth moth caterpillars eat buds and leaves of mulberry, peach, apricot, quince, plum, apple tree, poplar and acacia.
It lives everywhere, with the exception of northern latitudes. The gooseberry moth is distinguished by the original coloring of the wings, which varies from white to rich yellow shades. The pattern is variable and most often represents a wavy line on the front wings.
It feeds on the leaves of shrubs. Before pupation, the caterpillar folds a leaf with a tube, fastening it with a cobweb.
Butterflies are active not only at night, but also during the day. Their years are observed throughout the summer period.
The butterfly does not differ in large dimensions and colorful coloring. Wingspan 20–25 mm of a nondescript beige color with a scarlet border. The sorrel moth prefers moist areas, feeds on buckwheat plants, sorrel, and highlander.
Two generations appear in a year. Caterpillars of dark violet color, on the back there is a light streak. The color of the pupa is grayish-brown.
Control of the moth
You need to deal with moths using a combination of agrotechnical, mechanical, chemical and biological methods. To agrotechnical methods Fight include:
- regular inspection of plants for pests on them,
- loosening of soil in near-tree circles of trees and shrubs from early spring to the end of April, and then from the first decade of September to the beginning of frosts,
- digging the soil around the trees in summer and autumn,
- mechanical removal of dead bark and moss from trees,
- whitewashing of trees in early March and October.
Mechanical control measures - the most time-consuming, but also the safest - include:
- morning picking of caterpillars manually or shaking them on the litter and subsequent destruction,
- the use of glue belts against insects,
- the collection and destruction of spider web nests on bushes and trees and plant debris in their trunk circles.
Chemical way involves the processing of fruit storages, plants, containers with pyrethroids, organophosphorus compounds and neonicotinoids. And under biological way combating the moths involves attracting their natural enemies into the garden, which are riders and tahini flies, for which purpose they plant phacelia, clover, ornamental onions and sunflowers, as well as spraying trees and shrubs with biological pesticides.
The flower moth affects barberry, hawthorn, thorns, fruit trees. The color of the front wings of the butterfly is gray, brown in color with brown stripes and dark spots. It hibernates in the pupal stage, from which a light green caterpillar with a red dorsal stripe appears. Gnawing leaves, holes in the flowers.
Flower moths can destroy 25% of the foliage.
How to deal with moths
Measures to control moths are determined by the type of pest and the degree of infection. Mechanical methods are very laborious, but also the safest:
- in the morning, the caterpillars from the foliage are shaken off on the litter and destroyed,
- to prevent egg laying by flightless females in late summer and early autumn, sticky “hunting” belts are applied to the trunks, these may be paper rings, automobile rubber circles lubricated with non-drying adhesive, adhesive tape for flies, at the end of November, the belts are removed and burned,
- collection and destruction of fallen leaves under plants, leaves entangled in cobwebs, in which moth pupae are located.
Agrotechnical measures for the destruction of moth pupae:
- digging the soil in near-stem circles not only in the autumn period, but also in the summer,
- loosening of the surface layers of the earth until the end of April and from the first decade of September,
- regular removal of moss, dead parts of the bark from the trunks,
- whitewashing of trees with garden mortar in early March and October.
Insecticidal treatment is carried out in the case of a large number of caterpillars in the spring. Spraying is carried out before flowering plants. To destroy pests, solutions of Karbofos, Zologna, Neoksina, Decis, Fitoverm are used.
Moths have biological enemies: rider insects and tahini flies. To attract them, sunflower, clover, decorative onions, and fatselia are planted on garden plots.
So that the moth does not spoil your crop, the fight against it must begin in the fall: collect the fallen leaves under the plants and burn them, then dig the soil in the tree-trunk circles of bushes and trees. From the beginning of the season, carry out two preventative treatments of the garden with a solution of Karbofos or another drug of similar action: the first - before the buds begin to bloom, the second - after flowering. When the fruits appear on the plant, it is advisable to carry out the treatment only with folk remedies.
As a prevention of moths, timely care of plants can also be considered, since all gardeners know that pests do not parasitize on healthy and strong plants. Therefore, take care of your garden, keep the soil clean in near-stem circles, destroy weeds in a timely manner, water and feed trees and shrubs, and then you do not have to deal with pests.