How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines



Scientific Names:
Citrus looper: Anacamptodes fragilaria
Cabbage looper: Trichoplusia ni

(Reviewed 2/17, updated 2/17)

In this Guideline:

Description of the Pest (View caterpillar ID key) (PDF)

Loopers occur in most citrus-growing areas, usually together with other orangeworms. The larvae have no prolegs in the middle of the body and therefore move in a characteristic looping or measuring fashion. The female moth lays about 100 pale green, spherical eggs singly on leaves; there are several generations a year.


Looper larvae mainly consume new growth flushes, but also feed on blossoms and young fruit; they rarely damage mature fruit. Very young larvae typically feed on lower leaf surfaces along the leaf margin. Mature larvae, which are about 1.5 inch (3.7 cm) long, eat holes in leaves or consume them entirely.


Loopers have many natural enemies, including Apanteles sp. Insecticide application for loopers on citrus is rarely required.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Citrus
UC ANR Publication 3441

Insects, Mites, and Snails

E. E. Grafton-Cardwell, Lindcove Research and Extension Center, Exeter and Entomology, UC Riverside
J. G. Morse, Entomology, UC Riverside
D. R. Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County and UC IPM Program
B. A. Faber, UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties

Acknowledgments for contributions to Insect, Mite, and Snails:
J. Barcinas, E.S.I., Corona, CA
R. Dunn, Badger Farming Co., Exeter, CA
J. Gorden, Pest Management Associates, Exeter, CA
C. E. Kallsen, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County
D. Machlitt, Consulting Entomology Services, Moorpark, CA
C. Musgrove, retired entomologist, Riverside, CA
K. Olsen, S & J Ranch, Pinedale, CA
N. V. O'Connell, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
P. A. Phillips, UC IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County
T. Roberts, E.S.I., Corona, CA
T. Shea, UC Cooperative Extension, Riverside County
J. Stewart, Pest Management Associates, Exeter, CA
P. Washburn, Washburn & Sons Citrus Pest Control, Riverside, CA

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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