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What is Eating My Pea Plant? — The Guilty Culprits Revealed

What is Eating My Pea Plant? — The Guilty Culprits Revealed

Peas are great to grow in your house or greenhouse if you’re a fan of vegetables! Growing your pea plant is a great way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrition in your diet and a lovely plant to have around. 

Peas are known for their great health benefits. They are filled with vitamins, zink, and plenty of other antioxidants that support the immune system.

If you are looking to add a bit more health to your life then growing a pea plant is definitely for you! 

Peas are not only enjoyed by us humans but are also a great source of food for many pests and insects!

This can be troublesome for the average gardener as you might wake up to find your beloved pea plant has been ravished by surrounding pests! In the article, I will tell you what is eating your pea plant and how to control the problem. 

 

What is eating my Pea Plant?

Pea moths, pea weevils, apids, snails, and small mammals are the most common culprits when it comes to feasting on pea plants. To identify what type of pest is eating the pea plant, one must first look at the damage done to the plant as this will tell us who the culprit is. 

 

Pea Moth 

The pea moth is one of the main predators of your pea plant.  They have a brown or greyish appearance with markings of yellow on the side of their body.

These moths lay their eggs on the leaves and pods of the pea plant. Later these eggs hatch into larvae and the larvae then burrow into the peapod and feed on your peas for nutrients. 

This will destroy your pea crop. Preventing and controlling pea moths is, in my opinion,  the most effective way to eradicate them.

Spray a solution of neem oil, soap, and water on your pea plant, and then cover your crops with a light mesh so that these moths can not destroy your plants. 

 

Pea Weevil

Pea weevils, otherwise more formally known as Bruchus pisorum are part of the leaf beetle family. These beetles are black or brown and are small insects. 

Full-grown adult weevils chew and feed on the leaves and the blossoms of your pea plant. They make tiny holes in the plant’s leaves which can give your pea plant an unappealing appearance. 

The main issue with weevils is that they reproduce fairly quickly and lay their eggs in the pea pods of your plant. these eggs then hatch into larvae and thereafter the larvae barrow themselves into the peas and feed on them for nutrients. 

This can be quite troublesome as it causes great damage to your peas and often to the extent where they can become unpalatable. If you notice any weevils on your pea plant I would advise you to take action immediately! 

A great way to eradicate pea weevils is to first focus on getting rid of the larvae. Use a septicidal soap spray and spray your plant with the spray at least twice a week.

If the infestation continues I would advise you to go to a local gardening center and buy a repellant pesticide spray.

Good sprays usually consist of carbaryl and sevin.

 

Aphids 

Aphids can be quite infuriating as they tend to cause a lot of damage to your pea plant but they are difficult to identify as they are so small. The type of aphid that usually attacks your pea plants is the pea aphid.

These little pests have soft green bodies and blend in with your plant. 

Since pea aphids are so difficult to spot with your naked eye, it is easier to assess the damage on your pea plant to identify if aphids are indeed the culprit.

Apids suck the nutrients out of the pea plant leaves, leaving them deformed and discolored. Leaf curl can also occur. 

Aphids and ants have a symbiotic relationship. If there is an ant infestation on your plant, this could be an indication that there are aphids nearby.

The ants help the aphids with movement around plants and in return, the aphids secrete a honeydew substance that the ants eat.

If you notice a sticky honeydew substance on your pea plant accompanied by a colony of ants, you might have an aphid problem! 

I would advise you to spray your pea plant with a high-pressure hose to physically push the pests off your plant.

I would also suggest spraying a solution of neem oil, soap, and water onto your pea plant.

 

Birds 

Many people don’t expect that birds are the guilty culprits of eating your precious peas! They can however cause a lot of chaos in your garden and damage to your vegetation. 

The most common birds that feed on your pea plant are pigeons and jaybirds. These pests will approach your plants when you are not around and have a little feast. 

The best way to get rid of this issue is to protect your crop. Place bird mesh or wire around your pea plant when your plant has started to bloom. This will physically prevent the birds from attacking your plant. 

Scaring off birds with noise such as wind chimes, or an outside radio is effective. Other scare tactics such as revolving mirrors near your crops and scarecrows will visually frighten the birds away. 

 

Small mammals 

Small animals such as squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and rabbits love to feast on pea plants. If you live in an area where these mammals are common, I would advise you to place a layer of bird mesh over your vegetation for protection. 

Using items such as cayenne pepper, garlic and other natural matter that have a strong aroma will repel these small mammals. 

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