wild currants all leafless

Asked August 26, 2020, 2:43 AM EDT

What is devastating the wild currants in the Mat-Su Borough? Last year many of the bushes were stripped of leaves, and the berries were fewer. Summer of 2020 has proven even worse. It is now hard to find a currant bush with any leaves, and the berries are nonexistent. What is doing this? Is it insects? Blight? It's not affecting the cranberries or other plants.

Matanuska-Susitna Borough Alaska

1 Response

This is typically caused by the imported currant worm. It is too late to try and control them now. If you have the currants on your property and monitor them for the worms earlier in the summer when they first appear you can pick them off, spray them off with a jet of water, or us an appropriate insecticide. The worms typically don't kill the plant, but can prevent them from putting on berries. Raking underneath the plant can also help to expose them to the cold as they may overwinter under the leaves. Below is a link to more information on controlling them.
https://pnwhandbooks.org/insect/small-fruit/currant-gooseberry/currant-gooseberry-imported-currant-worm