WSU Extension

Hortsense

Common Insects & Mites : Leafrollers
(revision date: 4/30/2013)


Biology
Leafrollers are the caterpillar (larval) stage of several different moth species. These rather small caterpillars vary in color from brownish to pale or dark green. They generally have a shiny black or brown head and similarly colored "shoulder" plate. They roll leaves, "stitch" them together with silk, then feed within the shelter of the rolled leaf. When probed or otherwise disturbed they thrash about violently and try to lower themselves out of harm's way on strands of silk. They attack many trees, including most fruit trees. They may also damage fruit.
Management Options

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

Chemical Management

If nonchemical management options do not give satisfactory control, several insecticides and some biologicals are effective in managing these caterpillars. Make certain that the product that you purchase is registered for the target host and effective against the pest insect.

Images
    - hide images

+ Show larger images

 
Caption: Leafroller damage on rhododendron
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Leafroller close-up
Photo by: K. Grey
Caption: European leafroller
Photo by: S.M. Fitzpatrick and J.T. Troubridge
Caption: Obliquebanded leafroller adult
Photo by: J.F. Brunner
Caption: Obliquebanded leafroller damage
Photo by: J.F. Brunner
Caption: Obliquebanded leafroller
Photo by: S.M. Fitzpatrick and J.T. Troubridge
Caption: Carnation tortrix
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Rose leafroller
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli