Agriculture: Cherry Pest Management Guidelines

Oriental Fruit Moth

  • Grapholita molesta
  • Description of the Pest

    Oriental fruit moth overwinters as a brown mature larva in bark cracks and in leaf litter. The small brown moths emerge in late February. Larvae are white to pink with a brown head capsule. There are five to six generations per year.


    Oriental fruit moth is an occasional pest of young cherry trees grown near other hosts such as almonds or peaches. First and second generation larvae mine young, tender shoots, causing them to wilt and die.


    Oriental fruit moth rarely causes significant damage to cherry trees. Sprays are usually only required if shoot strikes are occurring on young trees that are near other sources of Oriental fruit moth (e.g. infested peach, nectarine, and almonds).

    Adult Oriental fruit moth populations can be monitored and treatments timed (if necessary) with pheromone traps. They should be placed in orchards by February 15 in the northern or eastern quadrant of the tree, 6 to 7 feet high. Use three traps per orchard or varietal block less than 30 acres. Use one trap per 10 acres for 30- to 80-acre orchards and one trap per 20 acres for orchards larger than 80 acres. Monitor traps once a week. Replace pheromone lures according to manufacturer's directions and replace trap liners when dirty, or after counting and removing an accumulated total of 150 moths.

    To determine optimum time to spray, accumulate degree-days beginning with the first male moth trapped from the second flight, which usually occurs in May. Use a lower threshold of 45°F and an upper threshold of 90°F. (For assistance in calculating degree-days, see "Degree-days"). The optimum time to treat for Oriental fruit moth is 500 to 600 degree-days after the first trapped male in any flight.

    Common name Amount to use** REI‡ PHI‡
    (Example trade name) (conc.) (dilute) (hours) (days)
    Not all registered pesticides are listed. The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honey bees, and the environment are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to air and water quality, resistance management, and the pesticide's properties and application timing. Always read the label of the product being used.
      (Intrepid 2F) 8–16 fl oz/acre 4 7
      COMMENTS: Most effective when applied at petal fall. Do not apply more than 16 fl oz/acre per application or 64 fl oz/acre per season. Coverage is extremely important; sprayer speed should not exceed 2 mph.
      (Altacor) 3–4.5 oz/acre 4 10
      COMMENTS: Do not use with an adjuvant. A newer material; impact on beneficials not yet determined. May cause mite flare ups.
      (Delegate WG) 6–7 oz/acre 4 7
      COMMENTS: Toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
      (Entrust)# 1.25–2.5 oz 0.42–0.83 oz 4 7
      COMMENTS: Most effective when applied at petal fall. This product is toxic to bees for 3 hours following treatment; apply in late evening after bees have stopped foraging. Do not apply more than 9 oz/acre per year.
      (Sevin XLR PLUS) 3–4 qt/acre 12 1
      COMMENTS: May cause increased spider mite problems. Do not apply more than 14 qt XLR PLUS/acre per season. The XLR PLUS formulation is less hazardous to honey bees than other formulations if applied from late evening to early morning when bees are not foraging.
    ** For concentrate applications, use the amount given in 80–100 gal water/acre, or lower if the label allows; for dilute applications, amount is per 100 gal water to be applied in 300–400 gal water/acre, according to label.
    Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (PHI) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
    * Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
    1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action Group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee).
    # Acceptable for organically grown produce.

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    Text Updated: 09/15
    Treatment Table Updated: 09/15