Pest Type: Insect
Damage to Plant: Flowers are tattered or don’t bloom. Tiny droppings appear on buds.
Also known as tobacco budworms, these close relatives of the corn earworm burrow into buds and feed from the inside; they also chew fully opened flowers. The striped, 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch long caterpillars are greenish to tan or reddish in color; they cause problems largely in mild climates, since they can’t survive cold winters.
Life Cycle: Moths lay clusters of eggs on host plants. The caterpillars tunnel into developing buds and feed for a few weeks before pupating, usually inside the damaged buds. After emerging, the adults lay eggs that may either overwinter or hatch into a second generation.