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Tea Garden Pest Control Managing Tea Leaf Roller Moth

Tea, a beverage deeply rooted in Chinese culture and one of the world's oldest and most widely consumed drinks, relies heavily on the cultivation and meticulous management of tea trees. Tea gardens, where these trees are nurtured, represent complex ecosystems where numerous organisms coexist, contributing to the garden's biodiversity. However, this diversity also presents challenges as certain organisms can become pests, threatening tea tree health and tea production. These pests and diseases are major constraints to tea production and pose significant risks to tea safety.

In this series on tea garden pest control, we explore various pests, their behaviors, damage mechanisms, and control methods. Our aim is to enhance your understanding of these pests, enabling better protection of tea gardens and ensuring that every tea leaf grows in optimal conditions. This seventh installment focuses on the Tea Leaf Roller Moth, a common pest in tea gardens.


Identification of Tea Leaf Roller Moth

The Tea Leaf Roller Moth (Homona coffearia), also known as the brown-banded tea leafroller, yellow tea leafroller, or citrus leafroller, belongs to the family Tortricidae within the order Lepidoptera. This pest affects not only tea trees but also crops like camellia, litchi, longan, and citrus. It is predominantly found in southern China, with severe infestations reported in northern Fujian. It has multiple generations per year: four in Anhui and Zhejiang, four to five in Hunan, and six in Fujian, Taiwan, and Guangdong. Mature larvae overwinter within rolled leaves.

Morphological Characteristics and Life Cycle

Adult Stage: Size: Adult moths have a body length of 8–11 mm and a wingspan of 23–30 mm.

Appearance: They exhibit a pale yellow-brown color with variable spot patterns. The forewings are rectangular and paddle-shaped, light brown with darker wingtips and several dark transverse lines. Male moths typically have deeper-colored spots on their forewings, including a semi-oval black spot in the middle of the leading edge and a prominently thickened dark brown area near the shoulder.


Egg Stage: Size and Shape: Eggs are oval, about 0.8 mm long and pale yellow.

Egg Masses: Egg masses are elongated, approximately 10 mm long, and covered with a transparent adhesive substance.

Larval Stage: Development: The larvae go through six instars, occasionally seven.

Mature Larvae: Fully grown larvae are 20–23 mm long, with brown heads and bodies ranging from yellow-green to light gray-green. The prothoracic shield is crescent-shaped, brown, with darker edges and small brown spots on the sides. The body is covered with short white hairs.


Pupal Stage: Size and Color: Pupae are 8–12 mm long, ranging from yellow-brown to dark brown.

Morphology: They have rows of short spines along the anterior and posterior edges of the abdominal segments, with long, black anal spines ending in eight small hooks.

Damage Characteristics

 Tea Leaf Roller Moth larvae feed on tender tea shoots, rolling the young leaves into protective shelters. They consume the leaf tissue, leaving only the epidermis, creating transparent dead spots. As they grow, their feeding intensifies, often rolling up to ten leaves, damaging both young and mature leaves.

Control Methods for Tea Leaf Roller Moth

Given the infestation patterns and damage caused by the Tea Leaf Roller Moth, the following control methods are recommended:


Agricultural Control: Pruning Infested Shoots: During the early larval stages, remove and destroy the rolled leaves containing larvae. This is particularly effective when combined with regular garden management practices.

Winter Garden Cleanup: In winter, prune diseased and weak branches, and remove weeds around the garden to eliminate overwintering larvae.

Fallen Fruit Management: Collect and dispose of fallen fruit to prevent larvae from moving to fallen leaves for pupation.


Biological Control: Conserving Natural Enemies: Protect natural predators such as parasitoid wasps during peak parasitism periods by minimizing pesticide use.

Releasing Trichogramma Wasps: Introduce Trichogramma wasps during the first and second generations’ egg-laying periods to parasitize moth eggs.


Physical Control: Light Traps: Utilize light traps to attract and kill adult moths, exploiting their phototactic behavior.

Color Traps: Employ colored sticky traps to monitor and capture adult moths, reducing their population.


Chemical Control: Targeted Insecticide Application: Apply insecticides during the peak larval hatching and early instar stages. Use systemic or contact insecticides such as Imidacloprid or Deltamethrin. Rotate chemicals and use appropriate concentrations to prevent the development of resistance.

Advanced Control Technologies by Yeehar 

Yeehar Agriculture has been leading the development of environmentally friendly pest control methods for years. Our goal is to achieve "disaster prevention and reduction, quality improvement, efficiency enhancement, and safety assurance." We offer several innovative products for managing Tea Leaf Roller Moth:


Designed with red and yellow blocks to attract and kill Tea Leaf Roller Moths while minimizing the capture of beneficial insects.

Uses high-viscosity, water-resistant adhesive that remains effective under high temperatures and rain. The material is biodegradable within six months.

These devices are optimized for capturing small insects like Tea Leaf Roller Moths, making them ideal for agricultural research, field monitoring, and tea garden pest control.

They are used to capture and monitor harmful insect populations, enabling precise pest management.

3. Color-Attraction Insect Monitoring Instruments

These smart devices automatically attract and capture Tea Leaf Roller Moths, using high-accuracy image recognition to identify and analyze pest types and quantities.

They provide real-time monitoring and early warning of pest outbreaks through 4G network communication with a cloud platform.

Precautions for Controlling Tea Leaf Roller Moth

When implementing control measures for Tea Leaf Roller Moth, consider the following precautions:

Timing: Apply control measures during the peak hatching period and early larval stages for optimal effectiveness. Continuously monitor and trap adults.

Protecting Natural Enemies: Use pesticides judiciously to preserve beneficial insects like parasitoid wasps, which naturally prey on the moths.

Effectiveness Evaluation: Regularly assess the effectiveness of control measures and adjust strategies as needed to ensure good results. Learn from experiences to improve control methods continually.

By understanding and applying these control methods, tea growers can effectively manage Tea Leaf Roller Moth infestations, protecting both the quality and yield of their tea crops.

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