Leafroller Moths

    Leafroller Moths

    Archips spp.; Choristoneura spp.; Argyrotaenia spp.

    leafroller moth

    Adult fruittree leafroller moth (Todd M. Gilligan and Marc E. Epstein, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org)

    leafroller moth larva

    Leafroller moth larva (William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, Bugwood.org)

    rolled leaf

    A rolled leaf formed by a leafroller moth larva (Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)


    Pest Description

    • adults: wingspan ~ 3/4 inch; wings held tent-like over back; color variable
    • larvae: up to 1 inch and found within rolled leaves; typically green with a brown to black head capsule
    • eggs: gray brown and often laid in overlapping clusters on or around the plant

    Host Plants, Diet & Damage

    • deciduous trees and shrubs; fruit trees
    • larvae feed on leaves and roll leaves using silk
    • leaf skeletonizing and leaf damage; fruit cat-facing or loss
    • defoliation in severe cases

    Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage

    • overwinter as eggs or larvae on or around host plants
    • overwintering eggs hatch after budbreak
    • species overwintering as larvae emerge around budbreak
    • larvae spend most of their developmental period inside of the rolled leaf
    • species with one generation per year will lay overwintering eggs in mid-summer
    • species with two generations per year will lay eggs in spring and summer
    • pupate within the rolled leaf, or on or around the host
    • one to two generations per year depending on species
    • larvae are the damaging stage

    IPM Recommendations

    • Keep trees healthy with proper cultural practices.
    • Monitor trees for egg masses, larvae and rolled leaves.
    • Management is seldom warranted; tolerate pest.
    • If needed, apply an insecticide (azadirachtin; Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki; carbamate; pyrethroid; spinosyn) to foliage targeting newly hatched larvae in spring.