The species Spilonota ocellana is also known as the eye-spotted bud moth and is an important pest to British Columbia and other regions of apple production in Canada. The larvae over-winter directly on the host plant and become active in spring, feeding on the buds and fruit, causing extensive damage if the increasing populations are not managed.
The bud moth larvae can be distinguished from young brown fruit worms by their shiny black head and segment behind the head, as well as by the darker chocolate-brown body colour. Typically, bud moth larvae wiggle backwards when disturbed. The summer generation larvae often tie a green or dead leaf to the fruit under which they feed, thus creating shallow holes in the surface to condition its habitat. The adult bud moth is gray in colour and approximately 9 mm long with a wide white band across each forewing.
Examine host trees, from tight clusters through petal-fall, for small larvae (often feeding under dead leaf attached to fruit). Examine fruit for feeding damage that, if apparent, may require an insecticide application to be performed in the coming days.