How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Grape

Orange Tortrix

Scientific name: Argyrotaenia franciscana (= A. citrana)

(Reviewed 6/06, updated 4/14)

In this Guideline:


Description of the Pest

Although orange tortrix is found in other areas it is generally considered a pest of grapes in the coastal areas and valleys where there is a marine influence for part of the day. At rest the orange tortrix adult is bell shaped and about 0.5 inch (12 mm) long. The female is orange-brown and generally has a faint V-shaped marking located midwing. The male is similar to the female except that it has darker markings. Eggs are laid in overlapping masses. The straw-colored caterpillars have a brown head and prothoracic shield. They are about 0.5 inch (12 mm) long when mature and very active. If disturbed, they wriggle sideways or backwards and either drop to the ground or hang by a silken thread. There are three overlapping generations per year and all developmental stages of this pest can be present throughout the growing season.

The garden tortrix, Ptycholoma peritana, frequently appears in orange tortrix traps and can be distinguished from orange tortrix by the dark brown diagonal stripe on the forewings that create a chevron pattern when the moth is at rest. The chevron pattern on the garden tortrix is darker than that of the orange tortrix. Garden tortrix also has a light-colored margin on the edge of the chevron, which orange tortrix lacks.

Damage

Orange tortrix causes the same kind of damage as the omnivorous leafroller in inland areas. Overwintering larvae feed on any soft, exposed vine tissue, weeds, and in grape mummies on the vine. Spring feeding is on buds, and leaves. Larvae then enter the bunches as early as bloom time and make nests of webbing among the berries. Besides injury to leaves and berry stems, their feeding on berries allows entry of bunch rot disease organisms.

MANAGEMENT

If orange tortrix is a problem, encourage biological control by the judicious use of insecticides, clean up the vineyard during the dormant period as described under cultural control and, if treatments are necessary, spot treat when possible, using thorough coverage of vines.

Biological Control

In coastal vineyards the dominant parasite of orange tortrix is Exochus nigripalpus subobscurus. The adult Exochus wasp is about 0.25 inch (6 mm) long, with a black head and body and yellow legs. This internal larval parasite emerges after the larva pupates and can be detected by the presence of round emergence holes. Moderate to heavy parasitism in late spring has resulted in season-long biological control in coastal vineyards. There are indications that coyote brush grown near vineyards in the Salinas Valley will increase parasitism by this parasite by allowing the parasite to overwinter on orange tortrix and other hosts found in the coyote brush. At least three other wasp species and one fly parasite are known to attack orange tortrix.

Spiders are often found in orange tortrixnests and undoubtedly feed on larvae.

Cultural Control

Clean up the vineyard during the dormant period. During winter, larvae are often found in weeds such as mallow (cheeseweed), curly dock, mustards, filaree, lupine, and California poppy. Vineyard cover crops of oats and barley are also attractive to this pest. Remove dried grape clusters on vines, and disc weeds and clusters on the ground. Do this work at least a month before shoots begin to develop in spring. Damage can often be prevented by harvesting as early as possible.

Organically Acceptable Methods

Cultural and biological controls and sprays of Bacillus thuringiensis and the Entrust formulation of spinosad are organically acceptable management tools.

Monitoring and Treatment Decisions

Check vineyard areas that have a history of infestation or where infestation is suspected. See MONITORING CATERPILLARS section for monitoring procedures. Check varieties with compact clusters, developing shoots, flowers, or fruit clusters. Examine 10 flower clusters in the center of each of 20 vines for a total of 200 clusters. Look for rolled leaves that are glued to shoots. Also look for evidence of parasitism. Record results on a monitoring form (PDF).

Later in the season, look for orange tortrix larvae and webbing in the bunches. If you find an average of 0.5-1 larva per vine, treatment may be warranted if parasites are not present. If the infestation is not widespread, spot treatments can be used. Inside coverage of bunches is essential; treat both sides of the row.

Pheromone traps

Pheromone traps for this pest are available and are useful in timing flights and subsequent treatments in coastal vineyards. Place pheromone traps in the vineyard in late December. Low-trap catches at the end of January to early February represent the beginning of adult emergence, which will give rise to the first generation. Be sure to distinguish orange tortrix from garden tortrix, which may also be caught in traps but isn't a pest. Garden tortrix has a diagonal dark stripe that forms a chevron pattern when the wings are at rest and spot on each side of the forewing; both are lacking on orange tortrix moths). Use the low trap catches in late January through early February as the biofix (identifiable point in the life cycle) to start accumulating degree-days; low trap catches represent the beginning of adult emergence. Monitoring with pheromone traps after biofix will provide more information about subsequent generations of orange tortrix in the vineyard. For information on placing and monitoring pheromone traps, see PHEROMONE TRAPS.

Degree-days

Use degree-day accumulation, with a lower threshold of 43°F and an upper threshold of 78°F, from the date of lowest moth catch to predict the subsequent stages of the insect's life cycle. Allowing 1,000±50 degree-days to accumulate after the date of lowest trap catch in late January/early February and in early June will indicate the timing of applications for control of the first and second generations.

Common name Amount per acre** R.E.I.‡ P.H.I.‡
(example trade name)   (hours) (days)

  Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honey bees, and the environment are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to air and water quality, resistance management, and the pesticide's properties and application timing. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read the label of the product being used.
 
BERRY SET TO BUNCH CLOSURE
 
A. METHOXYFENOZIDE
  (Intrepid 2F) 10–16 fl oz 4 30
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 18
  COMMENTS: Do not apply more than 48 fl oz/acre per season.
 
B. CHLORANTRANILIPROLE (RYNAXYPYR)
  (Altacor) 2.0–4.5 oz 4 14
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 28
 
C. FLUBENDIAMIDE
  (Belt) 3–4 fl oz 12 7
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 28
  COMMENTS: To protect honey bees, apply only during late evening, night, or early morning when bees are not present.
 
D. SPINOSAD
  (Entrust)# 1.5–2.5 oz 4 7
  (Success) 4–8 fl oz 4 7
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 5
  COMMENTS: Apply when eggs first hatch to target the young larvae. A stomach poison; most effective when ingested. Heavy infestations require a second application in 4 or 5 days. To protect honey bees, apply only during late evening, night, or early morning when bees are not present.
 
E. SPINETORAM
  (Delegate WG) 3–5 fl oz 4 7
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 5
  COMMENTS: A stomach poison; most effective when ingested. To protect honey bees, apply only during late evening, night, or early morning when bees are not present. Do not apply more than 19.5 oz/acre per crop per year or make applications less than 4 days apart.
 
F. CRYOLITE
  (Kryocide) 6–8 lb 12 30
  (Prokil Cryolite 96) 6–8 lb 12 30
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: un
  COMMENTS: Wine, table, and raisins: 2 applications maximum. Ground application only. If used on wine grapes or grapes that may be sold to a winery for export, observe their restrictions on postbloom applications. Early season treatment effectively reduces numbers and does not cause outbreaks of pest mites and leafhoppers. Can provide season-long control of low-to-moderate numbers. Good coverage of clusters is critical. Cryolite is a stomach poison that must be ingested to be effective.
 
G. Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. kurstaki#
  (various products) Label rates 4 0
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 11
  COMMENTS: Works best when 2 applications are applied 10 days apart in dry, warm weather during spring when shoots are less than 18 inches long and orange tortrix is found rolling leaves at the tip of shoots. Good coverage is critical. Not as effective later in season when larvae are in the fruit bunches. Not harmful to predatory mites.
 
** Apply with enough water to provide complete coverage.
Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the R.E.I. exceeds the P.H.I. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
# Acceptable for use on organically grown produce.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at http://www.irac-online.org/.

IMPORTANT LINKS

[Precautions]

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Grape
UC ANR Publication 3448

Insects and Mites

  • W. J. Bentley, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Research Center, Parlier
  • L. G. Varela, UC IPM Program, Sonoma County
  • F. G. Zalom, Entomology, UC Davis
  • R. J. Smith, UC Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County
  • A. H. Purcell, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley
  • P. A. Phillips, UC IPM Program, Ventura County
  • D. R. Haviland, UC IPM Program, Kern County
  • K. M. Daane, Kearney Agricultural Research Center, Parlier
  • M. C. Battany, UC Cooperative Extension, San Luis Obispo County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:
  • J. Granett, Entomology, UC Davis

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