WSU Extension

Hortsense

Cherry : Leafrollers
(revision date: 2/14/2019)


Biology
Several species of leafrollers may be found on cherries. The larvae feed on leaves, buds, or fruit. They vary in color from pale to dark green, usually have a shiny brown or black head, and are about 3/4" long at maturity. Typical symptoms of leafroller feeding include leaves that are rolled and tied in place with webbing. Damaged leaves are often near shoot tips and may be skeletonized or chewed. Shallow surface damage may be seen on the fruit, but damaged fruit often drop before harvest. Leafroller caterpillars are often active when disturbed, wiggling vigorously or dropping to the ground on a thread. The adult moths are 1/2" to 3/4" long and are brown or mottled tan and rusty brown. Some species have darker bands across the wings.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Pick out and destroy rolled leaves and caterpillars, when practical.
  • Pinch rolled leaves to kill caterpillars.
  • Encourage natural enemies of caterpillars including birds, parasitic wasps and flies, and predacious beetles. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill beneficial insects.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Best applied when caterpillars are small and before leaves are rolled, just after petal drop. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is only useful if larvae are feeding. Use a spreader-sticker with liquid Bt formulations. Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall. Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Bonide Thuricide BT Conc
    Active ingredient: Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki  |  EPA reg no: 4-226
  • Bull's-Eye Bioinsecticide
    Active ingredient: spinosad (spinosyn A+D)  |  EPA reg no: 62719-314-56872
  • ferti-lome Borer, Bagworm, Tent Caterpillar & Leafminer Spray
    Active ingredient: spinosad (spinosyn A+D)  |  EPA reg no: 62719-314-7401
  • Monterey Garden Insect Spray [Organic]
    Active ingredient: spinosad (spinosyn A+D)  |  EPA reg no: 62719-314-54705
  • Naturalis L
    Active ingredient: Beauveria bassiana  |  EPA reg no: 53871-9
  • Safer Brand BioNEEM Multi-Purpose Insecticide & Repellent Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: azadirachtin  |  EPA reg no: 70051-6-42697
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
Images
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Caption: Leafroller damage on rhododendron
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Leafroller close-up
Photo by: K. Grey
Caption: Obliquebanded leafroller adult
Photo by: J.F. Brunner