Tortrix Moths


  • Tortrix Moths & Tortrix Moth Caterpillars – otherwise known as Carnation Tortrix or apple moths. Their scientific names are Cacoecimorpha pronubana or Epiphyas postvittana
  • They are usually most active between the months of April – September, however they can be present in greenhouses all year round.
  • They can effect many common garden plants, edible & non edible
  • The caterpillars often eat leaves and will create silk threads on your plants.

Tortrix Moth Caterpillars

The Tortrix Moth begins life as a caterpillar after hatching from an egg, which can happen usually between 2-3 weeks. The caterpillar that emerges from the egg is very small, narrow and green in appearance. Although there are several hundred species of Tortrix Moth Caterpillars out there – they can all cause havoc amongst your garden plants – particularly in a green house where they can survive year round and the damage can become considerable over time if left untreated.

Signs & Symptoms

The first sign of Tortirx moth caterpillars is a binding they create on leaves. The silky threads look almost like a spider-web create a small shelter for the caterpillars to live and over time they will pupate into their moth form. This process will damage the leaf often results in dry & brown areas. This can effect both edible fruits, vegetables and no edible plants.

Prevention & Treatment

There is not much that can be done in terms of prevent a Tortrix moth from laying its eggs unfortunately, what you can do however is to regularly check the leaves of your plants for signs of eggs, damage, discolouration to detect them as early as possible. The sooner they are detected, the easier the task of treating them will be.

Pesticides can be very effective on Tortrix moth caterpillars – if you choose to use a pesticide to treat tortrix moth caterpillars please consider the following;

  • When using pesticides, the sooner the better as pesticide is especially effective on smaller & younger caterpillars & larva. You can also just remove any leaves that show signs of Tortrix moth activity and dispose of the effected leaves.
  • Please take care when using pesticides on flowers that are in bloom – especially flowers that have pollen as it can be extremely harmful to bees.
  • Always follow the instructions on the label when using pesticides.

For an organic alternative to treatment – squeeze the bound leaves together to crush any caterpillars resting inside. Some damage can be manageable for your plants without causing devastating effects to its health.

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