4 Steps For Effective Budworm Control

Budworm control is important as they are caterpillars of moths that feed on outdoor ornamental plants and shrubs. In particular, budworms tend to feed on geranium and nicotine plants.

Though budworms are difficult to control it is still possible to implement an early treatment control when first noticed.

Follow the steps listed in this DIY guide to learn more about budworms and effectively eliminate them by using the recommended products.


Step 1: How to Identify the Budworm

Budworm Control
Picture of the Budworm For Easy Identification
  • Budworms are small caterpillars that reach a maximum length of 1 inch. The colours of these objects vary and can include brown, red, green, and occasionally purple, depending on the consumed food.
    Budworms often exhibit light abdominal stripes and numerous erect hairs. The head capsule of this pest will have a brown colouration.
  • Upon reaching maturity, budworms undergo pupation and subsequently emerge from their cocoons as brown moths characterized by a wingspan measuring 1.5 inches. During the moth stage, budworms develop butterfly-like wings.
  • Adult budworm moths exhibit a pale green hue with undertones of brown or grey. The wings of the butterfly will display wavy cream-brown stripes, measuring 1.5 inches in span.


Read also: How To Carry Out Tussock Moth Control


Step 2: How To Inspect For Budworms

Budworms, which are caterpillar pests, can infest various outdoor plants, including ornamental plants, bushes, shrubs, trees, and gardens. Examine the foliage close to outdoor light fixtures because adult moths frequently choose this area for oviposition.

Budworms typically cause irregular, small holes in the stems, leaves, buds, and flowers of plants, similar to other caterpillar damage.

Budworms engage in nocturnal feeding on plants; therefore, it is recommended to inspect your property using a flashlight to locate these pests.

They retreat into the soil during daylight hours. Hiding budworms can be detected using a small shovel or a till.


Step 3: How to Carry Out Budworm Control

  • Apply Supreme IT:

Supreme IT is a liquid insecticide with a wide range of effectiveness, containing 7.9% bifenthrin as its active ingredient.

This active ingredient is capable of eradicating budworms and various other pests. When applied, this product protects your lawn, ornamentals, home perimeter, and various terrains for a duration of 90 days.

The amount of Supreme IT required can be determined by measuring the square footage of the treatment site.

To determine the area of the treatment site, measure its length and width in feet, and calculate the square footage by multiplying the length by the width.

To effectively address budworm infestations, it is recommended to apply a solution of 0.25 to 0.5 ounces of Supreme IT per gallon of water per 1,000 square feet.

To prepare a solution for Supreme IT, fill a backpack or handheld sprayer tank with water, filling it halfway. Then, add the appropriate measured quantity of Supreme IT to the tank.

Finally, pour in the remaining half of the water. Securely close the lid of the sprayer tank and vigorously shake the contents to promote uniform blending. After mixing, you will be prepared for spraying.

Perform your application during the twilight or evening hours when budworms are most active. Utilize the Supreme IT solution to effectively treat ornamental plants and shrubbery on your premises, ensuring thorough application to both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves.

To mitigate potential risks to pollinating insects, such as bees, when cultivating flowering ornamentals, it is advisable to apply Supreme IT to the soil beneath the plants. Avoid using this product on edible plants or flower beds.

Next, implement the proposed solution by creating a barrier treatment along the perimeter of your residence and around light fixtures to deter adult moths from laying eggs.

Ensure that the spray is applied in a three-foot radius both vertically and horizontally from the foundation.

Budworm caterpillars and moths that come into contact with the product or its residue experience neurotoxic effects, leading to their death within a few hours.

The visible decrease in pest activity may require a time frame of approximately two weeks.


Where Can Budworm Control Products Be Purchased?


Read also: Bagworm Control in 4 Efficient Steps


Step 4: How To Prevent Budworms

  • Firstly, it is important to consistently adhere to regular lawn care and maintenance practices. Lawns that are in good health are less susceptible to infestation and have a higher ability to recover from minor damage.
    To promote new growth and eliminate potential budworms concealed in stems, it is advisable to trim dead plant limbs upon observing signs of pest damage on foliage.
  • To prevent damage from budworms, it is advisable to refrain from cultivating plant species that are preferred by these pests.
    Alternatively, one can choose to protect desired foliage species by covering them during the nighttime period from June to August.
  • To prevent budworm moths from inhabiting the property, it is advisable to switch off the porch and other outdoor light fixtures during the summer and early fall.
    Consider replacing white outdoor lighting with warmer, yellow lights. Nocturnal insects, such as moths, are drawn to white lights.
    Therefore, replacing white lighting with yellow lighting can decrease insect activity in the vicinity of your residence.
  • Replace the soil surrounding plants with suitable fertilizers as a means to deter budworms that may be concealed in the soil and eliminate potential hiding spots.
  • The optimal time to apply Supreme IT through spray application is during June or the first half of July, coinciding with the breeding and egg-laying period of budworm moths.
    To ensure year-round protection, we recommend treating with this product every 3 months as it has a duration of up to 90 days.


Read also: How To Get Rid Of Bed Worms: Unlocking the Secrets to Bed Worm Removal


Watch an Explanatory Video on Effective Budworm Control



Bifenthrin-based insecticides, such as Supreme IT, applied during dusk and evening hours, can effectively prevent and eliminate budworms inhabiting foliage.

To deter budworm activity, it is recommended to apply Supreme IT to the yard, ornamental foliage, and perimeter of the home’s foundation.

For more information, do well to contact us via the comments section below!

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