Agriculture: Peach Pest Management Guidelines

Omnivorous Leafroller

  • Platynota stultana
  • Description of the Pest

    Omnivorous leafroller is primarily a pest of peaches in the San Joaquin Valley. It occurs in the Sacramento Valley but seldom causes damage. Omnivorous leafrollers overwinter as immature larvae in mummy fruit or on winter weeds and do not enter a true dormancy. Larvae are light colored with dark brown or black heads. When mature they are about 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) long and have two slightly raised, oblong whitish spots on the upper surface of each abdominal segment. Abdominal segments may have a greenish brown tinge. They pupate inside a webbed shelter.

    Adults of the overwintering generation emerge by March 1. They are small, dark brown moths, 0.375 to 0.5 inch (9—12 mm) long with a dark band on the wing and a long snout. Eggs are laid in overlapping rows that resemble fish scales. The first generation of eggs usually is laid on weed hosts, but can also be found on early maturing peach cultivars causing moderate damage. Adults from this generation emerge in May or June to lay second generation eggs in orchards on leaves and fruit. Larvae that hatch from this second generation of eggs can cause damage in stone fruits. Like fruittree leafroller and obliquebanded leafroller, they have the characteristic behavior of wriggling backward when disturbed and dropping from a silk thread attached to the leaf or fruit surface.


    Omnivorous leafroller larvae often web leaves into rolled protective shelters while feeding. They feed on leaves and on the surface of fruit, sometimes webbing one or more leaves to the fruit for protection. They chew shallow holes or grooves in the fruit surface, often near the stem end, and webbing is usually present on fruit.

    Damage results from fruit feeding. Young fruit may be destroyed, and scars on older fruit will cause them to be culled or downgraded at harvest. Feeding injury also may increase the incidence of brown rot and other fruit decays.


    Omnivorous leafrollers can be found in orchards in the spring, but the majority of damage occurs during the summer. Regular monitoring each season is important so that prompt action can be taken if damaging populations develop. Throughout the season, watch for the presence of leafroller larvae while monitoring.

    Biological Control

    A number of parasites, including species of Macrocentrus, Cotesia (Apanteles), and Exochus, attack omnivorous leafroller larvae. General predators such as lacewings, Phytocoris bugs, assassin bugs, and minute pirate bugs may feed on eggs and larvae. Preservation of natural enemy populations is an important part of keeping leafroller numbers low. Use selective pesticides that are least disruptive of biological control when treating other pests.

    Cultural Control

    Remove and destroy fruit mummies; also destroy potential overwintering weed hosts, such as horseweed, common lambsquarters, little mallow, curly dock, and legumes, by clean cultivation.

    Organically Acceptable Methods

    Biological and cultural control along with applications of Bacillus thuringiensis and the Entrust formulation of spinosad are organically acceptable tools.

    Monitoring and Treatment Decisions

    Begin monitoring by placing pheromone monitoring traps in the orchard by February 20 in the San Joaquin Valley and check twice weekly to establish the biofix for the first flight (overwintering generation), which should occur around March 1; biofix is the first night moths are consistently caught in traps over a period of several nights (see PHEROMONE TRAPS). From the first biofix, accumulate degree-days (DD) to estimate when to apply a treatment. Use a lower threshold of 48°F and an upper threshold of 87°F. Optimum treatment timing is between 700 and 900 DD after the first biofix.

    Estimate the onset of the second flight (first generation adults) by accumulating degree days from the first biofix. The second flight begins approximately 1168 DD after the first biofix, because this is how long it takes the omnivorous leafroller to develop from egg to adult. As the start of the second flight nears, be sure to have fresh trap liners and lures in place. When the second flight biofix is determined by trap catches, begin accumulating degree-days. If necessary, apply an insecticide for the second larval generation between 700 and 900 DD after the start of the second flight biofix. Monitor the fruit closely for signs of damage. No treatment threshold values are available.

    Calculate degree-days for omnivorous leafroller in peaches for your location using the omnivorous leafroller pest model or degree-day table. To learn more about using degree-days to time insecticide applications, watch the degree-days video.

    Examine fruit on trees every other week after color break (see PREHARVEST FRUIT SAMPLES) to detect any developing problems in the orchard. Take a fruit damage sample at harvest to assess the effectiveness of the current year's IPM program and to determine the needs of next year's program; (see FRUIT EVALUATION AT HARVEST). Record results for the harvest (PDF) sample.

    Common name Amount per acre** 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.
      (Entrust)# 1.25–2.5 oz 0.42–0.83 oz 4 1
      (Success) 4–8 fl oz 1.3–2.7 fl oz 4 1
      COMMENTS: Do not apply more than 29 oz/acre per year of Success or 9 oz/acre per year of Entrust. Toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
      (Altacor) 3–4.5 oz 4 10
      COMMENTS: For best results, apply in 100 to 150 gal water/acre.
      (Intrepid 2F) 8–16 oz 4 7
      COMMENTS: Do not apply more than 16 fl oz/acre per application or 64 fl oz/acre per season.
      (Delegate WG) 4.5–7 oz 4 1
      COMMENTS: Toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
      (various products) Label rates 4 0
      COMMENTS: Good coverage is essential. Ground application using a concentrate rate (80–100 gal water maximum) is preferred. If aerial applications must be made because conditions do not permit ground application, a concentrate rate (5 gal or less) is preferred. Fly material on at a height of about 20 ft over the canopy using appropriate nozzles to allow better deposition on the treetops.
    ** For dilute applications, rate is per 100 gal water to be applied in 300-500 gal water/acre, according to label; for concentrate applications, use 80-100 gal water/acre, or lower if label allows.
    Preharvest interval. Do not apply within this many days of harvest.
    # Acceptable for use on organically grown produce.
    Not recommended or not on label.
    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). For additional information, see their Web site at

    Important Links

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