Holly: Holly bud moth

categories: Holly Holly Insects Ornamentals Shrubs

revision date: 2024-06-05 02:07

Holly bud moth larvae damage.
Holly bud moth larvae damage
Photo by: Unknown


The adult holly bud moth is a mottled brown and black insect with a wingspan of approximately 1/2″. Overwintering eggs hatch in the spring. The larvae begin feeding on buds but soon move to leaves, which they roll and hold in place with webbing. The larvae are greenish-brown with dark heads and about 1/2″ long. Another name for the holly bud moth is the blackheaded fireworm. It also feeds on cranberry, blueberry, apple and cherry.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Pinch or hand-pick and destroy rolled leaves to kill larvae.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Apply when new growth is about 1/4 inch in length and before blossoms open.
  • Sevin (carbaryl) is particularly dangerous to honeybees since it does not immediately kill them. They return to the hive with the poison and distribute it within. Therefore avoid carbaryl if there is any possibility of pesticide drifting onto nearby blooming plants.
  • 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.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.