The bean pod borer moth is an important pest of legumes. Caterpillar feeding can injure bean pods and flowers of legume crops. Young larvae of Maruca vitrata bore into flowers and older larvae will bore into bean pods. Infestation of Maruca vitrata is characterized by holes in bean pods with extruded frass and internal decay of the pod. Populations can be monitored using a light trap to catch adults. This pest feeds on many different species of legumes, including pigeon pea, cowpea, mung bean and soybean. The caterpillar is cream colored with two rows of black spots along the dorsal surface. Adults are small brown moths with white and brown patterning.
Maruca vitrata naturally occurs in South America but has been collected in Big Pine Key in Florida. Few bean pod borer moths have been recorded in Louisiana and Texas.