Leafrollers and leaftiers are small caterpillars that feed on leaves which they roll around themselves for protection. Both leafrollers and leaftiers are very similar in their habits and feeding, except that leafrollers roll leaves around themselves and leaftiers tie leaves together with silk thread. The caterpillar uses the leaf for protection against the weather, predictors, and chemical sprays. Leafrollers can cause significant damage in the garden to fruit trees, ornamental trees, and vegetable, because they defoliate the tree, which puts immense stress on the tree. Some leafrollers will also feed on the flowers and fruit of fruit trees and, if not controlled early, they can prevent fruit production.
Recommended Steps to Control Fruit Tree Leafrollers
At the first signs of leafrollers or leaftiers, spray the tree with Bug Buster Pyrethrin Insect Spray or Garden Insect Spray with Spinosad. The sprays are much more effective if they are applied before the caterpillar is able to achieve protection inside the leaf. Repeat the spray, as needed, every seven to fourteen days.
For trees that are too tall to spray, and in cases of large leafroller outbreaks, apply the Once-A-Year Insecticidal Drench w/Merit, early in the growing season.