Southern Pink Moth (Pyrausta inornatalis)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Pyralidae
Genus: Pyrausta
Species: inornatalis


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Huntsville, Alabama
Barling, Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Corona, California
Lake Forest, California
Decatur, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Memphis, Tennessee (2 reports)
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Irving, Texas
Keller, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Spring, Texas
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Sep 4, 2019, Czyckie from Colonial Heights, VA wrote:

I saw the caterpillar in the woods today and canít imagine how destructive this moth can be. I took a picture because of the detail on the caterpillar. And then to see such a pretty pink moth, in the picture above. Wow!!


On Aug 5, 2018, webworksetc from Kansas City, MO wrote:

I spotted this tiny and lovely little creature on July 11 in Missouri. I only saw it that one day and my salvia still looks terrific. Is it a common moth in Missouri?


On Aug 3, 2018, backyardpollinators from Memphis, TN wrote:

I initially noticed the caterpillars of this moth decimating my salvia coccinea buds/flowers, and with a little research, learned that it was the larva of the "southern pink moth." Sure enough, once I brushed against my salvia, several small pink moths would fly off. I refuse to use pesticides of any kind, so I've resorted to hand picking. It has been a challenge, because they often times hide INSIDE the flower buds, but the tiny holes give them away.

Hopefully the hummingbirds see it as a protein + sugar all in one stop and will contribute to their population control.


On Jul 17, 2018, vbgarden from Virginia Beach, VA wrote:

I live on the Virginia coast and have had a large thicket of salvia guaranitica for 15 years. It's the best plant I've ever had for attracting hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Three years ago, about the time I noticed a tiny pink moth, the plants quit blooming.They looked healthy with plenty of growth and buds, but only about 10 percent actually opened into blooms. The buds just sort of shriveled up and died, and I spotted a tiny, almost translucent caterpillar inside many of them. The next year I sprayed BT and that helped some, enough to make a difference over the previous year. I've sprayed three times this summer, and am getting a decent bloom show in some areas, but nothing like I used to get. I don't want to spray to get rid of the moth because I don't want to ... read more


On Jun 26, 2018, bevargish68 from Mission Viejo, CA wrote:

Lovely but, destructive. My salvias have been completely destroyed for the last two years. This year I removed all mulch and added new mulch to no avail. I sprayed all my salvias with Bt before I left for a vacation. When I returned from vacation all my salvias were decimated. Does anyone have any other solution. I live in orange county California I donít know if that matters. Iíd appreciate any advice.


On Sep 4, 2011, LucasCatChow from Tulsa, OK wrote:

About 20 years ago I noted this pretty pink moth fluttering around my Salvia Blue Victoria. What a pretty sight I thought. Was I ever wrong. The larva of this moth is a noxious pest that consumes every type of Salvia I've tried. The larva are very small, and to me look as if they have a slight bluish iridescence to them. They leave holes in the newly formed buds so that the actual flowers seldom have a chance to unfold. After years of not growing any Salvias and experiencing no damage to other ornamentals, I tried a Salvia Gregii this spring. It wasn't but about 2 months later and the budworms appeared. Where these moths had been lurking for so many years in between is anyone's guess. I have read that the larva can also infest Angelonias, which makes sense as the flowers are simila... read more


On Aug 1, 2011, sunshine_2 from Granite City, IL wrote:

The moth's lay eggs on the salvia and then the larvae or worm eats every salvia flower there is, they have decimated my salvia every year for years, how can I get rid of them without harming the hummingbirds?


On Jul 29, 2010, DATURA12 from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Most beautiful moth..found in the am feeding on Scabiosa. Not on map to be found in this area.


On Dec 12, 2007, butterflycrazee from Hattiesburg, MS wrote:

I think this is the moth I see on my salvia blooms. I then see tiny caterpillars eating by salvia blossoms. Guilt by association!
Caterpillars are tiny and sort of clear with black dots. Hard to ID as they are tiny and I smush them so quickly!!
How do I control them without hurting other wildlife?


On Jun 10, 2007, fishbud from Keller, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I found this bug on my salvia plants as well. So far, I don't think it is harmful. It certainly is one of the colorful moth I've seen in this area.