Leafrollers in strawberries
Several species of caterpillars roll leaves in strawberries. They vary in time of appearance, head capsule color, and location in the state. Frequently the caterpillars wiggle backward vigorously when disturbed and drop from the leaf suspended by a silken thread. Moths have a bell-shaped outline when at rest.
The garden tortrix, Ptycholoma peritana, is the most common leafroller found in California strawberries. Adult moths are grayish brown with a dark brown spot and a dark brown diagonal stripe on each wing. Larvae are slender, grayish green with light brown heads that have a small but distinct dark spot on each side.
Adult strawberry leafroller moths, Ancylus comptana fragariae, have reddish brown wings with conspicuous, wavy white lines. Larvae are slender, green, with brown heads and can be distinguished by dark brown markings on the upper side of the end of the abdomen.
Adult orange tortrix moths, Argyrotaenia citrana, have tan to rusty brown forewings. Larvae are greenish to bright yellow or pale straw colored with a golden head and shield on the segment behind their head.
Leafroller larvae roll leaves and produce large amounts of webbing while feeding inside. They occasionally
feed on fruit.
Handpick and destroy caterpillars. Remove dead leaves and
trash from the base of plants in late winter.
Parasitic wasps may
naturally keep caterpillars under control. Spot applications
thuringiensis or spinosad may be applied
when populations are high.
Adult strawberry leafroller
Garden tortrix adult
Webbing produced by garden tortrix larva