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Plum Curculio PDF Print E-mail

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curculio_5006028.jpgPlum Curculio (Conotrachelus nenuphar)


Plum Curculio is a direct pest on all deciduous tree fruits. They overwinter as adults on the soil in the orchard and in nearby woodlands. Adult beetles emerge in the spring and fly to apple trees beginning around apple bloom. There may be one or two generations in a single season depending on your location.

The spring migration may continue for weeks.


The adults begin egg laying shortly after petal fall, sometimes it seems like only hours! Damage occurs when the females make a "C" shaped slit in the young fruit to deposit their legs. These fruits usually drop prematurely. Some fruits heal from the oviposition injury, but they will have a brown callus scar at harvest time.

When the larvae emerge, they bore into the fruit.

Adults that overwinter ( North of Virginia) or produce a second generation ( South of Virginia) feed on the fruits.


Control can be achieved though petal fall sprays which is the egg laying period. Damage is usually more severe along fence rows and woods. In Minnesota, eliminating  wild plums helps to control populations.

See our Seasonal Work Calendar for more details.

Get more Identification help from our recommended Books and guides

Download Plum curculio sheet from  Minn Dept Ag Guide (PDF: 131 KB / 2 pages)


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