Q What are these cater­pil­lars on my cit­rus trees?

Sue Hib­berd, by email

Gardeners' World - - Q & A -

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

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