How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes


Several species of caterpillars roll leaves; the garden tortrix is the most common found in California 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.

Identification of species


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 of Bacillus thuringiensis or spinosad may be applied when populations are high.

Garden tortrix adult
Garden tortrix adult

Webbing produced by garden tortrix larva
Webbing produced by garden tortrix larva

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