How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Eyespotted Bud Moth
Scientific name: Spilonota ocellana
(Reviewed 8/06, updated 3/09, pesticides updated 10/15)
In this Guideline:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST
Eyespotted bud moth has become an important pest in organic apple orchards in coastal areas but is not a problem in the interior valleys. Larvae are dull brown caterpillars with a shiny black head. Adult moths are gray and similar in appearance to a codling moth but smaller and with a white band across the mid-section. In California, two generations per year have been observed. Adults of the overwintering generation appear in May and lay eggs, which hatch in late June and July. Larvae feed on leaves and the surface of fruits throughout summer. The summer generation adults emerge in September and October. It is believed that the larvae produced by the summer generation overwinter in hibernacula. These larvae emerge in late winter, pupate in spring, and emerge as adults in May. The life cycle and damage from eyespotted budmoth is similar to the apple pandemis moth, and they may co-exist in the same orchard.
Larvae feed primarily on emerging buds and leaves in spring. They roll leaves later in spring and pupate in these leaf rolls. The leaf rolls often contain a dead leaf in the center.
Larvae of the summer generation feed on leaves; the first sign of egg hatch is often windowpaning of leaves where small areas are chewed out leaving just a web of veins. Check with a hand lens for the presence of the small brown larvae in windowpaned areas. Larvae also attach leaves to the fruit with silk and feed on the fruit under the attached leaf, making individual, shallow feeding marks.
Eyespotted bud moth is primarily a pest in organic apple orchards where pheromone mating disruption for codling moth control is used. In conventional orchards, synthetic pesticides applied for other pests easily control eyespotted budmoth. This insect has become a pest in organic apple orchards only in recent years, and effective control measures are still being evaluated. Monitor eyespotted bud moth flights with pheromone traps, which should be placed in the orchard by May 1. Maintain traps through the growing season. Treatments may be warranted in organic apple orchards.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Apple
Insects and Mites
L. R. Wunderlich, UC Cooperative Extension, El Dorado County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:H. L. Andris, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County
W. J. Bentley, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
W. W. Coates, UC Cooperative Extension, San Benito County
C. Pickel, UC IPM Program, Sutter/Yuba counties