What does it look like?
Guava moth is a small, black and white speckled, inconspicuous moth with a 15mm wingspan. The moth lays its eggs on the fruit surface, and the caterpillar burrows in the fruit. The caterpillar is pinkish and grows to 10mm in length.
Why is it a problem?
Guava moth lays eggs in a large range of fruit and nuts throughout the year, including citrus, loquat, plums, peaches, pears, apples, macadamia, feijoa and guava. From the outside fruit has circular brown patches and excreta (frass) extrudes from infested fruit and nuts.
Feeding by the caterpillar leaves rotting, brown patches, excreta and mould inside the fruit, making the fruit inedible and causing early fruit drop before fruit is fully ripe.
Cover green fruit you wish to protect with fine mesh cloth such as curtain netting to prevent moths laying eggs on fruit. Secure with tape to the supporting branch. Remove fallen and rotting fruit and associated leaf litter from beneath trees and bury or burn it. This will destroy pupating guava moths.
Mating disruption (commercial orchards only) - attach Asian peach fruit moth pheromone dispenser twist ties to tree branches at 800 dispensers/ha – even coverage of the area is essential – twist ties dispense pheromone for 14 months. Asian peach moth pheromone dispensers can be sourced from E-tec Pukekohe, which are imported from Japan.