How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Citrus cutworm—Egira (Xylomyges) curialis

Citrus cutworms may be pale green in the young larvae or pinkish and brown in mature ones, but there is always a white stripe on each side of the body on older larvae. The skin appears smooth to the naked eye; it never has conspicuous hairs or tubercles. When older larvae are disturbed, they curl up and drop to the ground. Adult moths are gray.

Identification of species | Life cycle

Damage

Larvae feed on leaves, blossoms, or fruit. Young larvae feed mostly on the edges of tender leaves; older larvae eat holes through leaves and blossoms and into fruit.

Solutions

Natural enemies attack cutworm larvae and are highly effective in reducing the next year's population. Applications of Bacillus thuringiensis or spinosad are effective when caterpillars are small.

Cutworm larva and damage to blossoms
Cutworm larva and damage to blossoms

Citrus cutworm larva feeding on leaf surface
Citrus cutworm larva feeding on leaf surface


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