Northwest berry Foundation

Management Detail

Strawberry Crown Moth

in Blackberries

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Latin name: Synanthedon bibionipennis


Reason for Concern:
Larvae can cause economic damage in red raspberries by girdling canes, which causes stunting and poor vigor.

Adults are clear winged moths that resemble yellow jackets, with a wingspan of about 20 mm. Forewings are nearly opaque with the edges dark bronze to almost black. Hindwings are transparent with dark veins and fringe. The abdomen is black and banded with yellow on the 2nd, 5th, and 6th segments. Mature larvae are about 20 mm long, and white, with a dark brown head.

Life Cycle:
Overwinters as a nearly mature larva in strawberry and caneberry crowns. Becomes active in early spring feeding for a short time before pupating in late spring. Adults emerge in late summer, mate, and lay eggs on dead leaves or green leaves around the plant base. Eggs hatch in about 2 weeks and young larvae feed on the outer crown at small root bases. As larvae mature, they bore deeper into crowns and are found in crown centers after about 1 month of feeding. Larvae feed in crowns until early October, then spin a cocoon to overwinter. There is 1 generation each year.



  • Watch for weakened areas within the field. Some canes might be brittle or collapsed.
  • Examine the crown and lower canes for signs of boring.
  • A very effective pheromone lure is widely available. Sticky traps should be put out by late May. Traps should be placed lower in the canopy, about 18 inches off the ground
  • Unlike strawberries, SCM larvae feed on the outer crown and root surface of caneberries. Therefore they are susceptible to insecticide drenches. The same fall or spring drench used to control Raspberry Crown Borer will also control SCM.

Cultural Controls:

None listed at present.


For information about chemical controls, check with our Pesticide Guide.


photo by K. Gray

Strawberry crown moth larva - photo by K. Gray

photo by T. Peerbolt


Strawberry crown moth eggs - photo by K. Gray

Strawberry crown moth frass - photo by T. Peerbolt

Strawberry crown moth larvae and frass - photo by T. Peerbolt

Strawberry crown moth frass - photo by T. Peerbolt


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