Northwest berry Foundation

Management Detail

Winter Moth/Bruce Spanworm

in Raspberries

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Latin name: Operophtera brumata, O. bruceata


Winter Moth and Bruce Spanworm are two very closely related species. They have seldom been identified as an economic pest in raspberries but their feeding habits are such that it is difficult to assess their impact. Larvae appear in late winter/early spring before leaf break and can cause damage by feeding on the buds and thereby reducing yield. They are an occasional pest in raspberries. They can cause much more serious damage in blueberries. Feeding damage caused after leaf break is superficial. Larvae have pupated and are not present in the field by harvest so they are not a harvest contaminant.



  • Watch for single strands of spider-like web threads appearing in the canes in late February to March that come from new larvae.
  • Examine buds for evidence of feeding and/or larval presence. Other larvae such as overwintering Obliquebanded leafrollers and Orange tortrix leafrollers can cause similar damage.
  • Larvae are much larger than Orange/Obliquebanded Tortrix, and they are off-white to dark green in color with two distinct stripes along their back
  • A pheromone lure is available but only from a source in Eastern Europe. If using the pheromone, adult flight should be monitored in late fall early winter.
  • Once leaves have emerged, winter moth larval feeding causes little economic damage. They are not a harvest contaminant.

Cultural Controls:

None listed at present.


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


Winter moth larva - photo by T. Peerbolt


Winter moth adult - photo by J. Troubridge

Bruce spanworm adult - photo by J. Troubridge

Bruce spanworm larva - photo by J. Troubridge, AAFC

Damage - photo by T. Peerbolt


Winter moth larvae - photo by T. Peerbolt

Leaf curl - photo by T. Peerbolt


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