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Problem
(factsheet)
Plant NameTypeDescription 
Tobacco budwormPetuniaInsectTobacco budworm larvae attack several ornamental flowers including petunia, rose, geranium, and nicotiana. They feed primarily on buds, petals, and developing seed pods, but will feed on shoot tips and foliage if flower buds are not available. On most hosts, larvae prefer to tunnel into buds, but they will also feed on the petals of opened flowers (especially on petunia). Damaged buds fail to open, resulting in loss of color in floral plantings. If buds open, flowers and leaves appear ragged or tattered. The adult is a greenish-brown moth with cream-colored bands on the wings. It is about 3/4 inch long with a wingspan of about 1 1/2 inches. Eggs are laid on blossoms, fruit, or shoot tips of plants. Very young larvae are yellowish or light yellow-green, but the color of older larvae is variable. Mature larvae may be light to dark green, brown, tan, or reddish. These older larvae usually have stripes along the sides and a brown head. Mature larvae drop to the ground and pupate in the soil around host plants. There are typically two or more generations per year. Tobacco budworm overwinters as pupae in the soil.