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Arkansas Fruit, Nut, Vegetable, and Nut Update Posts
by Aaron Cato - September 26, 2019
The leaves are falling, the days are growing shorter, and Raspberry Crown Borer should
be on all of our minds! Here are some recommendations for scouting and control.
Now that it is officially fall we need to remember to focus our scouting efforts on
what is generally our most serious insect pest of blackberry, the raspberry crown
borer, Pennisetia marginata. Most growers around the state are familiar with this pest and the damage it can
cause, but many still don’t scout for signs of damage or presence before using control
measures. It’s possible that some money and time could be saved in holding off control
if the pest isn’t present.
Raspberry crown borer has 1 generation per year in Arkansas. Adult moths are clearwing
moths that exhibit yellow and black coloration, similar to a wasp. Adult moths emerge
from pupal cases in early September-October, mate in around 7 days, then begin to
lay eggs. Eggs are laid on the underside of blackberry leaves, right around the margin.
These eggs are oval in shape and have a dark copper appearance (Figure 1). Larvae
hatch from eggs around a month later, depending on temperature, then move down the
cane to bore into the cambium just below the soil. Larvae will overwinter in this
area until early spring. Larvae will then bore in to the crown and up canes where
they will feed and complete their larval life cycle (Figure 2). Mature Larvae emerge
in late summer through exit holes at the base of canes and pupate (Figure 3 and 4).
Larval boring and feeding can completely cut off nutrients and water to canes which
can result in no production and death of that cane. This is generally identified by
a shepherd hooks appearance of the cane, which can be confirmed by cutting open the
bottom of the cane and looking for presence of a larvae or insect excrement (Figure
2 and 5).
Chemical control should occur from late October – Early November, with exact timing
based on observations that have occurred since harvest. Research by Dr. Donn Johnson
has found that an application of Brigade (Pyrethroid) or Altacor (Diamide) in the
first week of November will provide excellent control. This application should be
applied as a soil drench in a 50-100 gal/acre solution. The goal is to get the product
to the area that the larvae is trying to overwinter, where it will have great residual
control in the soil around the base of canes. Control of this pest is less feasible
once it bores into the crown and cane.
Information and most photos for this article are courtesy of Dr. Donn Johnson. Please
see the fact sheet created by Dr. Johnson for more specific information and recommendations.
Check out the Arkansas Small Fruits Management Schedule and Southeastern Regional Caneberry Integrated Management Guide for more information and reccomendations.