Several species of caterpillars roll leaves. They vary in time of appearance, head capsule color, and
location in the state. Frequently the caterpillars wiggle backward vigorously when disturbed and drop
from the leaf suspended by a silken thread. Moths have a bell-shaped outline when at rest.
Identification of species
On some vegetables and fruit trees, leaves and blossoms are eaten and tied together with webbing. Larvae
do not burrow into fruit. However, young fruit may be deeply gouged and fall to the ground. Less severely
damaged fruits reach maturity badly misshapen or with deep bronze-colored scars with a rough surface.
On trees such as citrus, only mature fruit is damaged.
Clean up gardens by removing host weeds and
trash. Hand removal of webbed leaves and larvae can help
control caterpillars in vegetables and fruit trees. Early
harvest of fruit may also eliminate some damage.
General predators and Trichogramma parasites
may attack some eggs and larvae. Low levels do not require
insecticide treatment during the season. Spinosad or Bacillus
thuringiensis work well when caterpillars
are small and able to feed on treated surfaces.
On dormant trees remove mummy fruit before buds break. Oil
sprays applied in dormancy just
before buds open will help control leafroller eggs on deciduous
fruit and nut trees.
For more information, see the Leafrollers on Ornamental and Fruit Trees Pest Note.