green worms eating leaves

Asked July 5, 2018, 1:48 PM EDT

I have some green worms eating the leaves on my current bushes. What are they and more importantly how do I get rid of them? picture included.
Thank you.

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

The photo is too blurry to be sure, but we think the pests are probably larvae of the gooseberry/currant sawfly. Learn about it here:

Additional information from the University of Massachusetts:

"Imported Currant Worm (Nematus ribesii): The full-grown sawfly larva is 3 inches long; it is green with yellowish ends, has a black head, and is covered with black spots. Shortly after the leaves are out in the spring, the worms feed first in colonies and later singly, voraciously stripping the plants of foliage. A second brood occurs in early summer, and a partial third brood may appear depending on the weather. If numerous, they can strip a bush of its foliage in a few days.

Management: Monitor for and remove leaves harboring eggs by hand. Watch for larvae starting just after bloom as the fruits start to enlarge. Cultural control involves being observant of growing conditions and keeping plants vigorous. Insecticide applications may be made as soon as larvae are found feeding on the leaves."

When needed, chemical controls include rotenone, malathion and spinosad. Apply when the larvae are small and blooms are not present.