What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

destructive worm/caterpillar…moving fast…help!
July 26, 2009
Please help me identify this alien army that has shown up and destroyed my evergreen bush in less than three days….will they move on to my other flowers and trees??
Laurie
Southeastern Massachusetts (Plymouth County)

Redheaded Pine Sawfly Larvae

Redheaded Pine Sawfly Larvae

Dear Laurie,
We identified your Red Headed Pine Sawfly,
Neodiprion lecontei, on BugGuide, and now that you know what it is, you should be able to find much information posted online.  You do not need to worry about these larvae that are related to wasps moving to other plants in the garden.

Redheaded Pine Sawfly

Redheaded Pine Sawfly

They feed on “Preferred hosts are red, Scots and jack pines. Also attacked are shortleaf, loblolly, slash, pitch, Swiss mountain, Japanese black, mugho pines, white pine, larch, deodar cedar, and Norway spruce” according to the Forest Pests website.  The Forest Pests website also indicates:  “Larvae may defoliate an entire tree from the top downward (b). Young or stressed trees are preferred, and small ornamental pines may be completely defoliated and killed in heavy infestations. Trees that are growing in poor sites or under stress are attacked more readily than healthy trees. Damage can sometimes be reduced by getting rid of competing vegetation, planting in high-quality sites, and promoting early closure by close plantings. If infestations are light, manual removal of larvae may effectively control the pest.”  The Discover Life website also has much valuable information and control suggestions.

Damage caused by Redheaded Pine Sawfly

Damage caused by Redheaded Pine Sawfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Share →

4 Responses to Red Headed Pine Sawfly Larvae

  1. Suzann says:

    The infestation on my mugho pine looks exactly like the photo above. I noticed something seemed wrong about 2 days ago and today I looked closer and was surprised how fast they are devouring the needles. Will this completely kill the plant? What happens to the bugs when they have had their fill? Do they get wings and fly away? What should be done? Completely removed the plant? Or see if it will come back?

  2. Suzann says:

    Thank you for the response. I will check out the sources listed

  3. Suzann says:

    Thank you for the response. I will check out the sources listed
    Additional reply – when I was checking out the resources I believe I have the European sawfly since mine doesn’t have the redhead but the black one. I am located in Racine, WI and we have had mild winters for the last 2 years. Perhaps this is why I am just seeing them now. The mugho pine was planted at least 5 years ago!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *