Western Tussock Moth

Pest: Western tussock moth (Orgyia vetusta)

Pest Type: Insect Pest

Western_Tussock_Moth_and_Cocoon

Major Identifying Features: Larvae are black with long bristles, maturing larvae have numerous red and yellow spots and four median dorsal tufts of light gray hair, pupate on scaffold branches and trunks, adults emerge from late April to July, adults are brownish and have wings that, when at rest and viewed from above, form a triangle

Life Cycle: Complete metamorphosis, 4 stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult), one generation per year, overwintered eggs hatch about the time the spring growth flush is expanding, wingless females lay 125 to 300 eggs in a single egg mass on the empty pupal case

Pest Rating: Minor to moderate

Management Rating: Easy to moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Hosts include

Damage Information: Infestations are occasionally a problem in Southern California and in foothill orchards, heavy infestation may destroy all new spring growth, larva may also feed on fruit

Management Options: Prevention and monitoring in spring, biological control with Trogoderma sternale, and Telenomus californicus, Bacillus thuringiensis

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucanr.edu

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