How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Scientific name: Cydia latiferreana
(Reviewed 10/13, updated 10/13)
In this Guideline:
Description of the pests
Filbertworm is a native insect found throughout California and is an occasional pest of pomegranate. The small, bronze, copper, or reddish brown moths emerge in late spring to early summer. The moth is characterized by a thin brown band running across the top pair of wings. After emergence, eggs are laid, singly, hatching in 8 to 11 days. Eggs are scalelike, flattened oval in shape, and similar in appearance to codling moth eggs. Filbertworm eggs are white when newly laid, turning darker as hatching approaches. Larvae overwinter in organic matter or soil, can reach 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) in length, and range from beige to pink with a dark brown to black head. Pupation occurs in a silk cocoon the next spring. One generation with a partial second has been observed in cool areas such as Oregon. However, in warm areas of California two generations per year is probable with second generation adults appearing in the fall.
Filbertworm can cause serious damage in pomegranates. Infestations have been seen in only a few orchards, most of which are in close proximity to alternate hosts, such as oak.
In July, the larvae bore into the fruit similar to codling moth, a close relative. Like codling moth damage, frass is often found at the entrance of the larval tunnels.
Cultural control methods, such as removing old fruit, can help reduce filbertworm numbers. Pheromone traps will help you determine the timing of sprays.
Remove all unharvested fruit, or disk fruit on the ground under, to prevent build up of numbers in the orchard.
Organically Acceptable Methods
Cultural control methods and applications of spinosad (Entrust) are acceptable for use on organically grown pomegranate.
Monitoring and Treatment Decisions
Monitor with pheromone traps in orchards with a history of filbertworm problems. Place pheromone traps in the orchard and nearby oak trees in mid-April. Put 2 traps 5 to 6 feet high in the canopy in a 10-acre orchard, adding 1 more trap for every 5 additional acres. Check weekly, correctly identifying moths in case other moth species are caught.
At this time, there are no treatment thresholds. If moths are being caught in traps, treat during the peak of the flight.
Looking for moth eggs can also be helpful to determine if numbers are high enough to treat. Treatment timing determined by looking for fruit stings from larval entrances is probably too late for control. However, larval stings can be useful to determine if the next generation may cause damage.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines:
Insects and mites