Potato tuber moth, Tecia solanivora

The potato tuber moth is a serious pest of potato in tropical and sub-tropical crops. It occurs in Africa, Asia, the Americas and warmer parts of Europe. There may be seven to ten generations per year in optimal environmental conditions. The larvae hatch and build galleries in tubers (potatoes) eating their way further into the potato as they grow larger. The potato starts to turn black and rots as the larvae leaves food residue and frass behind. Adults can be detected using traps and pheromones. It is advised to put out 16 pheromones and traps per hectare from planting to harvest, monitor traps in order to time treatments as part of an effective integrated pest management programme.
Potato tuber moth


Nature of Damage


Application Guidelines

Lures can be changed every 4-6 weeks to get the most accurate results.

Lures Handling
Pheromone lures are a very sensitive tool. They can be affected by exposure to elevated heat and direct sunshine. Direct touching by hand may cause cross contamination leading to mixed catches in the trap. Some contaminants such as Nicotine May have repellent effect reducing trap catch.

Lure Storage
Store in a cool dry place. Shelf life can vary from 3-36 months depending on the storage temperature. See Technical Data Sheet for further details.

Trap Selection

The Deltra trap is the most sensitive trap to use for monitoring this insect. However, Moth catcher may be used in dusty conditions or in high moth population density.

Trap Density

Do not re-use the trap to monitor different insects as this may lead to mixed catches. One trap for every two hectares of large scale fields of homogenous lands.

Two traps per hectare (2trap/ha) for small holdings and in field of uneven topography.

Trap Position

Place traps near the highest point of the plant using supporting posts approximately 1 meter high, or higher if the crop is higher.

Data and Interpretation

Collect data weekly from the start of the flight of the over wintering generation. During the height of the population more frequent reading may be needed. Decisions on pesticide application should not be taken solely on the trap catch data. Climatic and biological considerations should be taken in account.