How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Green fruitworms

Green fruitworms include several species of caterpillars, all of which are pale green, often with whitish stripes down each side of the body and a narrow stripe down the middle of the back.

Identification of species | Life cycle


Green fruitworms feed on leaves, occasionally tying them loosely together with silk. Fruit may be almost entirely devoured or they may have only a few bites taken out of them. Superficially damaged fruit remains on the tree, becoming misshapen and scarred. Feeding gouges are deeper than those caused by leafrollers. Early in the season, fruitworms eat unopened buds.


Natural control factors probably hold green fruitworms below damaging levels in most seasons and treatment is rarely needed. Many insecticides, including spinosad and Bacillus thuringiensis, are available for control.

speckled green fruitworm on a blossom
The speckled green fruitworm on a blossom
Damaged plum
Damaged plum
Damage to pears
Damage to pears

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   Contact webmaster.