Elderberry Insect and Disease Management

Michele Warmund
State Fruit Specialist, Division of Plant Sciences

This guide is the first known spray schedule to be developed for insect and disease control for field-grown elderberry in Missouri. Pesticide products labeled for greenhouse or high-tunnel-grown plants differ from those labeled for field-grown plants. Thus, product labels listed to control pests in this guide must be checked to determine if they may be applied legally when applied to elderberry grown under protected culture. Efficacy ratings for products are not listed in this guide as not all products have been tested at the University of Missouri. Only use pesticides after the pest is accurately identified. Scouting or trapping for pests will determine when a pesticide application is needed to prevent yield or plant loss.

Pesticides suggested in this publication have been labeled by the Pesticides Regulation Division of the Environmental Protection Agency. At the time this guide was developed, these pesticides were registered for use as indicated on the product label. However, these registrations can change at any time. It is the pesticide user’s responsibility to carefully read and follow all current label directions for the pesticide being applied. Also, strictly adhere to use of personal protective equipment application rates, reentry periods after spraying, and pre-harvest intervals. The pesticide label is a legal document.

Some of the pesticides suggested in this guide are on the EPA Restricted Use List and users must be certified private applicators to purchase and apply these materials. The EPA requires records for restricted use pesticide applications. Pesticide training and licensing information is available from the Missouri Bureau of Pesticide Control. It is essential to keep accurate records of products used, rates and dates of application, areas treated, plant growth stages, targeted pests, and weather conditions. A form for record-keeping requirements for restricted-use pesticides is available from MU Extension. For more information, contact your local University of Missouri Extension specialist.


Table 1. Products labeled for control of common mites and insects on elderberry.

Pest/ProblemMaterialProduct/AcreComments
Dormant to green tip
Eriophyid mites
(Figures 1 and 2)
Damoil0.75 to 1.5 gal./100 gals. water 
Pre-bloom
Eriophyid mitesM-Pede1% to 2% solutionOrganic option. Apply before leaf curl occurs.
PyGanic 5EC4.5 to 15.61 fl. oz.Organic option before leaf curl. No more than 10 applications/season.
Trilogy1% to 2% solutionOrganic option.
Sawfly
(Figure 3)
Assail 30SG4.5 to 5.3 oz.Avoid making more than 2 consecutive applications and 26.7 oz. product/acre/year.
Delegate 25SC3 to 6 oz.Organic option. Do not apply more than 3 applications/year.
Entrust 2SC4 to 6 fl. oz.Organic option. Do not apply more than 29 fl. oz./acre/season
M-Pede1% to 2% solutionOrganic option.
Neemix 4.54 to 16 fl. oz.Organic option.
Sevin 4F1 to 2 qts. 
Jessie’s bug
(Figures 4 and 5) or Stink bugs
(Figure 6)
Actara 25WB3 oz.Do not apply more than 12 oz./acre/season.
Assail 30SG4.4 to 5.3 oz.Avoid making more than 2 consecutive applications and 26.7 oz. product/acre/year.
Brigade WSB5.3 to 16 oz.Do not apply more than 80 oz./season.
Danitol 2.4 EC10.66 to 16 fl. oz.No more than 2 applications or 32 fl. oz./season.
Mustang4.3 fl. oz.No more than 25.8 fl. oz./acre/season.
Neemix 4.54 to 16 fl. oz.Organic option.
PyGanic 5EC4.5 to 15.61 fl. oz.Organic option. No more than 10 applications/season.
Sevin 4F1 to 2 qts.Sevin provides poor control of stink bugs. No more than 5 applications/year.
ThripsAdmire Pro2.1 to 2.8 fl. oz.No more than 14 fl. oz./acre/year or 5 applications/year.
Assail 30SG4.5 to 5.3 oz.Avoid making more than 2 consecutive applications and 26.7 oz./acre/year.
Aza-Direct12.5 to 42 fl. oz.Organic option.
Delegate 25WG3 to 6 oz.Provides suppression only.
Entrust SC4 to 6 fl. oz.Organic option. No more than 3 applications/season or 29 fl. oz./acre/season.
M-Pede1% to 2% solutionOrganic option.
Neemix 4.54 to 16 fl. oz.Organic option.
PyGanic 5EC4.5 to 15.61 fl. oz.Organic option. No more than 10 applications/season.
Bloom
Elderberries are primarily wind-pollinated. However, to protect bees and other pollinators, do not apply insecticides during bloom. Adult elder borer beetles emerge during bloom. If the planting is heavily infested with these beetles, Brigade or Admire Pro may be sprayed near the end of the bloom period. If other insects are causing major damage, insecticide may be sprayed late in the evening when bees are not foraging.
Petal fall
Elder borer beetle (Figure 7)Brigade WSP5.3 to 16 oz.Do not apply more than 80 oz. per season.
Or Admire Pro2.1 to 2.8 fl. oz.No more than 14 fl. oz./acre/year or 5 applications/year.
Sawflysee above  
Stink bugs or Jessie’s bugsee above  
Thrips (Figure 8)see above  
Ten days after petal fall
Elder borer beetlesee above  
Sawflysee above  
Stink bugs or Jessie’s bugsee above  
Thripssee above  
Summer sprays
Elder shoot borer mothAltacor 35WG3 to 4.5 oz.No more than 9 oz. product/acre/year.
Japanese beetles (Figure 9)Assail 30SG4.5 to 5.3 oz.No more than 5 applications/season.
Aza-Direct1.2 pts.Only acts as a repellent.
Neemix 4.57 to 16 fl. oz.Organic option. Acts as a repellent.
Mustang4.3 fl. oz.No more 25.8 fl. oz./season.
Pyganic 5EC4.5 to 18 fl. oz.Organic option for short-term control only.
Sevin 4F1 to 2 qts.Spray when adults emerge from soil & begin feeding on leaves.
Pre-harvest through harvest
Spotted wing drosophilaDanitol 2.4EC10.66 to 16 fl. oz.Direct spray to soil only to fallen berries. See comments above.
Delegate 25WG3 to 6 oz.No more than 3 applications/year with a minimum re-treatment interval of 7 days.
Entrust SC4 to 6 fl. oz.Organic option. No more than 2 consecutive applications.
Spotted wing drosophila
(Figures 10 and 11)
Exirel 0.83SE13.5 to 20.5 fl. oz.Make no more than 2 successive applications.
 Mustang4.3 fl. oz.No more than 24 fl. oz./acre/season.
 PyGanic 1.4EC16 to 64 fl. oz.Organic option.
Stink bugs or Jessie’s bug – see above
Harvest
Spotted wing drosophila – see above
Stink bugs or Jessie’s bug – see above
Post-harvest
Elder shoot borer moth  Prune infested canes and burn them.


Inward leaflet curl.
Figure 1. Inward leaflet curl caused by eriophyid mites (Phyllocoptes wisconsinensis).
Stunted leaflets with interveinal puckering.
Figure 2. Stunted leaflets with interveinal puckering caused by eriophyid mites (Phyllocoptes n. sp.).
Sawfly larvae and an elderberry leaf showing feeding damage.
Figure 3. Sawfly larvae and their feeding on elderberry.
Jessie’s bug.
Figure 4. Jessie’s bug (Neurocolpus jessiae). (Cultur’Innov photo)
Necrotic growing point at elderberry shoot apex caused by Jessie’s bug.
Figure 5. Necrotic growing point at elderberry shoot apex caused by Jessie’s bug.
Stink bug feeding on an elderberry drupe.
Figure 6. Stink bug feeding on an elderberry drupe.
Elder borer beetles.
Figure 7. Elder borer beetles (Desmocerus palliatus). (Clement Akotsen-Mensah photo)
Eastern flower thrips on elderberry flower.
Figure 8. Eastern flower thrips (Frankliniella tritici) on elderberry flower.
Japanese beetle.
Figure 9. Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica).
Adult spotted wing drosophila.
Figure 10. Adult spotted wing drosophila (Drosphila suzukii). (Cabi.org photo)
Spotted wing drosophila larvae in blackberry fruit.
Figure 11. Spotted wing drosophila larvae in blackberry fruit. (John Obermeyer, Purdue University)


Table 2. Insecticide common names, insecticide resistance codes (IRAC), pre-harvest intervals (PHI) and restricted entry intervals (REI).

ProductCommon nameIRACPHI (days)REI (hours)
Actarathiamethoxam4A312
Admire Proimidacloprid4A312
Altacorchlorantraniliprole2814
Assailacetamiprid4A112
Aza-Directazadirachtin--04
Brigadebifenthrin3A112
Danitolfenpropathrin3A324
Delegatespinetoram514
Entrustspinosad514
M-Pedeinsecticidal soap--012
Mustangzeta-cypermethrin3A112
Neemixazadirachtin--04
Pyganicpyrethrins3A012
Trilogyneem oil--14
Sevincarbaryl1A712


Table 3. Disease management.

DiseaseProductProduct/AcreComments
Green tip
Heterophoma (infection usually occurs at temperatures below 75°F) (Figure 12)Abound6 to 15.5 fl. oz.No more than 46 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Cabrio EG14 oz.No more than 56 oz./acre/season or 2 sequential applications.
Pristine18.5 to 23 oz.No more than 92 oz. product/acre or 4 applications/year.
Switch 62.5WB11 to 14 oz.No more than 56 oz./acre/year or 2 sequential applications.
Puccinia rust
(infection occurs at temperatures between 48 and 64°F)
(Figures 13 and 14)
Abound6 to 15.5 fl. oz.No more than 46 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Bumper 41.8EC6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz./acre/season.
Propiconazole 3.6EC6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Propicure 3.6F6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Cabrio EG14 oz.Suppression only. No more than 56 oz./acre/season or 2 sequential applications.
Pristine18.5 to 23 oz.Suppression only. No more than 92 oz. product/acre or 4 applications/year.
OSO 5SC6.5 – 13.0 fl. oz.Organic option.
Quadris Top12 to 14 fl. oz.No more than 56 fl. oz./acre/year or 4 applications/season.
Quilt Xcel14 to 21 fl. oz.No more than 63 fl. oz./acre or 3 applications/season.
Regalia---Organic option for small plantings. 1.47 to 5.88 tbsp./1000 sq. ft.
Tilt6 . oz.No more than 30 fl. oz./acre/year.
Pre-bloom
Alternaria
(optimum temperature range for infection is 77 to 86°F)
Abound6 to 15.5 fl. oz.No more than 46 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Bumper 41.8 EC6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Cabrio EG14 oz.No more than 56 oz./acre/season or 2 sequential applications.
Luna Tranquility13.6 to 27 fl. oz.No more than 54.7 fl. oz./acre/year or 2 sequential applications.
Alternaria (optimum temperature range for infection is 77 to 86°F) continued (Figures 15, 16 and 17)Neem oilsee labelOrganic option.
OSO 5SC6.5 to13.0 fl. oz.Organic option.
Pristine18.5 to 23 oz.No more than 92 oz. product/acre or 4 applications/year.
Propiconazole 3.6EC6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Propicure 3.6F6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Rovral 4F1 to 2 pt.No more than 4 applications/season.
Quadris Top12 to 14 fl. oz.No more than 56 fl. oz./acre/year or 4 applications/season.
Quilt Xcel14 to 21 fl. oz.No more than 63 fl. oz./acre or 3 applications/season.
Regalia---Organic option for small plantings. 1.47 to 5.88 tbsp./1000 sq. ft.
Switch 62.5WB11 to 14 oz.No more than 56 oz./acre/year or 2 sequential applications.
Tilt6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Trilogysee labelOrganic option.
Colletotrichum (infection occurs at 68°F, but most common at or above 77°F)Abound6 to 15.5 fl. oz.No more than 46 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Bumper 41.8EC6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz./acre/season.
Cabrio 20EG14 oz.Suppression only. No more than 56 fl. oz./acre/year.
Neem oilsee labelOrganic option.
OSO 5SC6.5 to 13.0 fl. oz.Suppression only. Organic option.
Pristine18.5 to 23 oz.No more than 92 oz. product/acre or 4 applications/year.
Propiconazole 3.6EC6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz. of product/acre/season.
Propicure 3.6F6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz./acre/season.
Regalia---Organic option for small plantings. 1.47 to 5.88 tbsp./1000 sq. ft.
Quadris Top12 to 14 fl. oz.No more than 56 fl. oz./acre/year or 4 applications/season.
Colletotrichum (infection occurs at 68°F, but most common at or above 77°F continued
(Figures 18, 19 and 20)
Quilt Xcel14 to 21 fl. oz.No more than 63 fl. oz./acre/year or 3 applications/year.
Regalia---Organic option. 1.47 to 5.88 tbsp/1000 sq. ft.
Rovral 4F1 to 2 pts.Suppression only. No more than 4 applications/season.
Switch 62.5WG11 to 14 oz.No more than 56 oz./acre/year or 2 sequential applications.
Tilt6 fl. oz.No more than 30 fl. oz./acre/year.
Trilogysee labelOrganic option.
Heterophomasee products listed above  
Puccinia Rustsee products listed above  
Bloom to petal fall
Alternariasee products listed above  
Colletotrichumsee products listed above  
Ten days after petal fall
Alternariasee products listed above  
Colletotrichumsee products listed above  
Summer sprays
Alternariaany product listed above may be used except for Rovral 4F  
Colletotrichumsee products listed above  
Pre-harvest
Alternariasee products listed above  
Colletotrichumsee products listed above  


Cane dieback disease.
Figure 12. Cane dieback disease (Heterophoma novae-verbascicola).
Elderberry rust on leaf petiole.
Figure 13. Elderberry rust (Puccinia sambuci) on leaf petiole.
Elderberry rust lesions on sedge.
Figure 14. Elderberry rust lesions on the alternate host, sedge.
Alternaria sp. lesion on an elderberry leaflet at an early stage of infection.
Figure 15. Alternaria sp. lesion on an elderberry leaflet at an early stage of infection.
Elderberry leaflet infected with Alternaria in the summer.
Figure 16. Elderberry leaflet infected with Alternaria in the summer.
Shriveled berry symptom of Alternaria.
Figure 17. Shriveled berry symptom of Alternaria.
Colletotricum kahawae subspecies ciggaro lesion on elderberry leaflet.
Figure 18. Colletotricum kahawae subsp. ciggaro lesion on elderberry leaflet.
Colletotrichum acutatum disease symptoms on elderberry.
Figure 19. Colletotrichum acutatum disease symptoms on elderberry.
Colletotrichum salicis lesion on elderberry leaflet.
Figure 20. Colletotrichum salicis lesion on elderberry leaflet.


Table 4. Fungicide common names, fungicide resistance codes (FRAC), pre-harvest intervals (PHI) and restricted entry intervals (REI).

ProductCommon nameFRACPHI (days)REI (hrs)
Aboundazoxystrobin1104
Bumperpropiconazole33012
Cabrio EGpyraclostrobin11012
Luna Tranquilityfluopyram + pyrimethanil7 + 9012
OSO 5SCpolyoxin D1904
Pristinepyraclostrobin + boscalid11 + 7012
Propiconazole 3.6ECpropiconazole33012
Propicure 3.6Fpropiconazole33012
PropiMax ECpropiconazole33012
Quadris Topazoxystrobin + difenoconazole11 + 3712
Quilt Xcelazoxystrobin + propiconazole11 + 33012
RegaliaReynoutria sachalinensisP504
Rovral 4Fiprodione2024
Switch 62.5WGcyprodinil + fludioxonil9 + 12012
Tiltpropiconazole33012
Trilogyneem oil404
This publication is partially funded by a USDA NIFA grant in the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program.