Interview with a Pea Moth Maggot

pests on peasCindy: Thanks Maggot for joining me this morning. Let’s get right to the interview – you look exhausted!

Maggot: It’s my pleasure Cindy. Yes, I’ve enjoyed nibbling on your peas and today I cut my way back out of the pod and I’m pooped.

Cindy: When did you first arrive on my pea plant?

Maggot: My stealthy Mom, in her gray camouflage, flew over your garden in June, attracted by the flowers on your pea plants. There was no cover cloth to prevent her from laying her pinhead-sized eggs so she popped a squat on a leaf and let us out. Such a simple thing to do, cover their crops, but almost no one does it!  It amazes me.

I kind of played it cool for a while, maybe 8 days or so and then broke out of the egg and had the next few weeks to chow down on a couple seeds. Yum!

Cindy: Yeah, my kids are kind of bummed that you ruined their snack.

Maggot: You embellish Cindy, I only eat a few and then I’m good. Your children are somewhat to blame because they waited too long to harvest. The longer you let the peas stay on the vine the more damage I cause.

Cindy: Ok, seems we’ve learned a few good lessons today. I’ll be covering my pea plants from now on and encouraging my kids to pick them as soon as they are ready. Thanks for the tips. Does it bother you that you just told me how to keep you out of my garden?

Maggot: No, there are plenty of unprotected pea plants to go around.

I’m so full I could fall off this leaf.

Cindy: You just did.

Maggot: Time to go way underground, build me a cocoon and hang out for the winter. Gotta save my energy because when spring comes, I”ll need to build another cocoon closer to the surface so I can pupate into a moth and fly around to lay myself some eggs. I can’t wait!

{Maggot starts burrowing into the soil and yells}

See you on the other side!