Blueberry Tip Borer

Blueberries November 14, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Description: Mostly brown, but each front wing has orange marks near tip and a silver spot along hind margin. Wingspan of 9.5 mm to 14.5 mm. Oviposit on lower surface of leaves, bore into the canes 5 cm to 15 cm from tip.

Lifecycle: Overwinter as larvae in the hollow blueberry canes where they feed during the summer. Slender caterpillars, light pink at first, fades as mature. The young larvae tunnel into the shoot near the eggs, and feed inside.

Damage: A small pinhole can be seen where the larva entered the stem. The internal feeding causes the stem to wilt and the leaves to dry up from the tips. Monitoring for the beginning of this symptom can be used to identify the egg laying period. Larvae continue developing into the fall and pupate inside the stem.

Management: Standard fruitworm controls usually prevent tip borer infestation; pruning infested shoots can help suppress populations.Two chemical sprays, one applied at petal fall and the other at first cover, control this pest. (B.t., malathion, carbaryl, azinphos-methyl, pyrethrin, or phosmet).


References:

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.