Bondi Junction NSW, Australia
Fact Sheets
Cocoa pod borer (175)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds


  • Widespread distribution. South and Southeast Asia, Oceania. Cocoa, Pacific lychee, rambutan, and cola are hosts. An important pest.
  • The borer is a moth. Eggs laid on the pods 2-6 weeks before maturity; the larvae hatch, tunnel into the pod and feed around the beans. Pods ripen early.
  • Considered one of the worse pest of cocoa, with losses of 20-50%.
  • Biosecurity: follow international guidelines. Several biotypes; non-pest strains in some Pacific island countries.
  • Cultural control: prune every 6 months to create open canopy on trees only 3 m high; pick pods as soon as yellow, and every 7 days, to interrupt life cycle of the moth; bury infested pods; area control is important, i.e., farmers in an area should all apply control measures simultaneously, otherwise moths will come from adjacent infested farms.
  • Chemical control: none recommended.

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