Laurel: Carnation tortrix
Portuguese laurel (Prunus lusitanica) is sometimes infested with the larvae of the carnation tortrix, a small bell-shaped brown moth with reddish underwings and dark bands on the upper wings. The larvae feed by rolling leaves and tying them with webbing. The caterpillars are light brown or greenish with brown heads and about 1/2″ to 3/8″ long at maturity. The larvae are very active when disturbed. The carnation tortrix attacks many broad-leaved evergreen plants, but seldom causes serious damage.
Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!
- Hand-pick and destroy rolled leaves, or pinch to kill caterpillars inside.
- Provide proper culture. Healthy plants can easily tolerate some defoliation.
IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.
- Apply when first noticed.
- Use a spreader-sticker with liquid Bt formulations.
- Use products according to label instructions.
- 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.