Fruitworm management season is underway in blueberries

Recent, low trap catches indicate the start of cranberry fruitworm flight, and better weather is expected to bring greater activity.

Now that petal fall is underway across most of Michigan’s blueberry industry, it is time for growers to make decisions regarding fruitworm management. The recent weather pattern that included cool nights, windy conditions and heavy rain have suppressed catches of cranberry fruitworm. They tend not to be as active when nighttime temperatures and wind conditions are unfavorable, but the coming warmer evenings and lighter winds are expected to lead to increase in moth captures in traps, greater amount of mating, and higher egglaying activity.

If your fields are into petal fall or early fruit set and past 100 growing degree days after first sustained catch of this pest, then protection of these berries is warranted in fields with a history of cranberry fruitworm infestation. For details of control options, see the recent Michigan State University Extension article, “Fruitworms in blueberry control options.”

Also, see the recent article “Why Intrepid has use restrictions and advice for complying” on restrictions on use of Intrepid, only if you are within one mile of known wild lupine habitat supporting Karner Blue butterflies in these counties: Allegan, Monroe, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana.

See these other MSU Extension articles:

Dr. Isaacs’ work is funded in part by MSU‘s AgBioResearch.

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