Q What are these caterpillars on my citrus trees?
Sue Hibberd, by email
A PIPPA SAYS There are several caterpillars that could infest and potentially damage citrus trees, especially as they are often moved to warm places in cooler weather. You describe the caterpillars as being hidden inside rolled-up leaves, which makes me think they are tortrix moth caterpillars. These pests create a safe place to feed by binding leaves together or folding them over with silken webbing. Once safely inside, they feed on the inner surfaces of their leaf shelter, often causing it to turn dry and brown. As citrus plants need to be kept warm, these snug conditions allow them to thrive. Squashing the caterpillars by squeezing their leafy shelters is the easiest and most effective control. You could also buy a pheromone trap to catch the male moths and so reduce the number of caterpillars next year.
Tortix moth caterpillars create shelters with leaves then feed on the insides