Potato tuber moth | Top 5 Management

potato tuber moth

 Do you cultivate potatoes and while doing cultivation, you are facing the problem of Potato tuber moth in your field, then today we will know about the common name of tuber moth in this article, specific name, family and order. And also know the nature of the damage life cycle and how we can manage or control this insect pest.

Potato Tuber moth

 Tuber moth

Potato tuber moth
Common name Alu ki surhi, Potato tuber moth
Scientific Name Pathorimoea (gnorimoschema)
Order Lepidoptera
Family Gelechiidae

Nature damage of Potato Tuber moth

The damage is caused by larvae that bore into the tuber and feed on the pulp. damage is done in the field as well as in godown but it is a serious pest of store potato.

  • In the field, it causes damage from October February March initially the caterpillar mines the leaf borer into branches and stem and feeds inside but during a severe infestation, they may eat Leaves also.
  • The exposed tubers in the field are also subjected to their attack with these infested potatoes they reach to godowns and multiply.
  • The damaged tubers are unfit for seed as well as for human consumption in addition the attacked tubers are exposed to bacterial infection which leads to rottings.
  • The infested tubers may be differentiated by the presence of black excreta near the eye bud.
  • Storing potatoes in cold storage reduces the tuber’s moth attack almost completely.

The life cycle of Potato tuber moth

Tuber moth completes its life cycle in four developmental stages. It has 4 developmental stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

The egg stage of the Tuber moth

is the first developmental. In this stage, the tuber moth lays its eggs in potato ices or cracks.

  • The female moth lays eggs around the eyes /cracks of the tubers in godowns. In the field, eggs are laid on the lower surface of the leaves.
  • The eggs are pearly white when freshly laid turning brownish or blackish later on. Its egg is 0.6 mm long and 0.5 mm wide.
  • Female lays 100 to 150 eggs in her life span and the egg hatches in 3-4 days.

The larva stage of the Tuber moth

is the second developmental stage of the life cycle of the Tuber moth, in which the larvae break out of the egg.

  • The newly hatched Larva is about 1.5 mm long. white in color with a blackhead.
  • It bores into the tuber and enters it through a minute hole. The caterpillar tunnels in all directions in the pulp of the tuber and become fully grown in 10 to 20 days.
  • It molts 5 times and the full-grown caterpillar is pinkish in color and measures about 22 mm in length. A single potato may have several caterpillars.
  • The full-grown larva comes out of the tubers for pupation.

The pupa stage of the Tuber moth

is the third developmental stage of the life cycle of Tuber moths.

  • The Larva pupates among the potatoes or crevices of their containers or on fallen leaves in the field.
  • It forms a dirty cocoon of 6.5 m long for pupation.
  • The pupal stage of the tuber moth ends in 7-10 days.

The adult stage of the Potato Tuber moth 

is the last development. It takes the form of a full-grown larva moth.

  • The adult mouth is greenish-brown in color. Measures 6 mm long with a wingspan of 12mm.
  • The fore wings are greyish-brown with yellow longitudinal bands and the hind wings have a fringe of hair on the posterior margin.
  • The adults are nocturnal in habit and affected in the light. The mating of moths takes place soon after their emergence and females start egg-laying after 12 days of copulation.
  • The life cycle is completed in 21 to 36 days and 6 to 8 generations.

Top 5 Management of Potato Tuber moth

If you have got a tuber moth in your potato godown and you want to control it, then now you can control it by applying the method given below.

  • Effective tubers should be picked and rejected before storage.
  • The potatoes are stored in the sand (2.5 mm thick) so that the female could not lay eggs on them.
  • In the field when an infected start crop may be sprayed with endosulfan 35EC @ 1lit/ha in 750 liters of water.
  • If the potatoes are Stored for seed purposes the malathion dust may be mixed with 1.5 kg per m tons of tubers.
  • Fumigation with aluminum phosphide 7 tables per 28 cubic meters space is effective in killing the caterpillars.

Natural enemies The following are the effective larval

  • Bracon Hebetor.
  • Serratia marcescens.
  • Microbracon gelechiae.


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