How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Artichoke plume moth—Platyptilia carduidactyla

Adults of the artichoke plume moth vary in color from buff to brownish buff, with a wing expanse of 0.75 to 1.25 inches. Both fore and hind wings are divided into lobes, giving the appearance of several pairs of wings; the hind wings are fringed. Young larvae are pale yellow; older larvae are off white and turn yellow to pink at maturity.

Life cycle


Larvae may chew holes in choke bracts, new stems, and leaves and bore into stem and buds. Larvae may also bore into the crown below the soil surface.


Cut all plants down to ground level for 2 or 3 months once a year. Chop and cover cuttings with at least 6 inches of soil. Remove all thistles and related plants. Predaceous nematodes may limit the pest if properly applied, although they are not reliable. Soak replant stumps or apply nematodes when you find plume moth larvae about 0.25 inch in the center of plants. Use a pressurized sprayer to apply a solution of nematodes once a week for three weeks.

Artichoke plume moth larva
Artichoke plume moth larva

Artichoke plant
Artichoke plant injured by plume moth

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