How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Seasonal development and life cycle—Diamondback moth

Adult diamondback moths lay their tiny eggs singly or, less commonly, in groups of two or three on the undersides of leaves. The eggs are minute, scalelike, green white to yellow, and very difficult to spot.

Larvae feed mostly on the undersides of outer or older leaves of older plants, chewing out small holes, or at the growing points of younger plants. They reach maturity in about 10to 14 days, depending on temperature, and then spin loose white cocoons, which they attach to leaves or stems, and pupate within them.

Although they may occur all year round, diamondback moths are often abundant in spring and early summer and populations may rise again in fall. The pest has four to six generations a year.

Diamondback moth pupa
Diamondback moth pupa


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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