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Old 07-24-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Long Island
9,630 posts, read 21,128,886 times
Reputation: 5405

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My daughter needs your help, please!

She called me this morning because she discovered that her two pine shrubs (not sure of the species - fairly low growing, needles are about 1 3/4 inches long) were dying; that they had turned brown almost overnight.

So I stopped by earlier today - no camera on me, unfortunately - and oh my, what a sight! There were these one inch "worms" enveloping bunches of needles and because there were sort of in clusters, when you got close, you could literally hear them chomping away Gross!!
Here's a description of the nasty creatures: a glistening opaque white with black dots on the back and red heads, about one inch in length and 2 millimeters (mm) in diameter. Picture one worm on top of another and another, all around a pine needle or two, or three...

I've been gardening for decades and have never seen anything like them! They don't seem to care for the yews or hostas, etc. just the pines...

Does anyone have an idea what they are and how to combat them? The first shrub is pretty much decimated, 99% of the pine needles have been eaten down "to the bone" - don't know if the shrub can survive without them Apparently they're just starting on the second one... I will try to get a photo, but don't know when I'll have the chance and didn't want to wait, since they seem to have a voracious appetite!

Thanks in advance for any help!!

P.S. I'm on Long Island (NY)
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Long Island
9,630 posts, read 21,128,886 times
Reputation: 5405
Arrow Photos of the pest

Maybe these photos will help - one is a close-up of a cluster of the "invaders" and the other is an overview of several branches with clusters (also see lower left hand corner!) and tons of ravaged branches in between

Would love to know what the name of these creatures is and how to get rid of them!

TIA
Attached Thumbnails
Garden Pest on Pine Shrub-img_8097.jpg   Garden Pest on Pine Shrub-img_8102.jpg  
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:49 AM
 
2,560 posts, read 5,504,388 times
Reputation: 962
Here it is! I have never seen these before!

Sawflies: Look Like Worms, Eating Your Evergreens - wcco.com (http://wcco.com/local/sawflies.sawfly.evergreens.2.367642.html - broken link)
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,932 posts, read 7,342,568 times
Reputation: 1401
How terrible! Good luck with the sawflies!
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Long Island
9,630 posts, read 21,128,886 times
Reputation: 5405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okiegirlfriend View Post
Here it is! I have never seen these before!

Sawflies: Look Like Worms, Eating Your Evergreens - wcco.com (http://wcco.com/local/sawflies.sawfly.evergreens.2.367642.html - broken link)

Thanks so much for your help . I forwarded the information to my daughter right away.
Hopefully she can find a "pest fighter" Sunday, before the second shrub is decimated as well
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Long Island
9,630 posts, read 21,128,886 times
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Okiegirlfriend, thanks again for your link!

While my daughter's pest is "only" a relative - it's the redheaded pine sawfly - without your link I would never have found the key word: sawfly!

Again, thank you

Redheaded Pine Sawfly - FIDL
and
Redheaded Pine Sawfly, HYG-2554-95
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, IN
855 posts, read 2,286,462 times
Reputation: 701
Wow. I've never seen those little suckers and sure don't want to. I'm sorry to see what they've done to your daughter's shrubs.

I did some quick searching and found this info. It looks as though they're the Redheaded Pine Sawfly:

Redheaded Pine Sawfly,Neodiprion lecontei

Appearance: Full-grown larvae have reddish brown heads and yellow bodies, with six rows of irregular black spots and are 20-30 mm (3/4 - 1") long.

Hosts: Many species of pines; however, red and jack pines that are less than 15 feet tall are preferred.

Damage: Larvae feed in groups and can completely defoliate a tree from the top down. Young trees are preferred and stressed trees are especially vulnerable to damage.

Life History and Habits: Winter is spent as a pupa in the soil. First generation larvae feed between mid-June and late July; second generation larvae feed between mid-August and late September.

Table 1. Some Insecticide Options for Sawfly Control

acephate (Orthene)
bifenthrin
carbaryl (Sevin)
insecticidal soap (M-Pede)
malathion (Malathion)
permethrin

Sawflies of Trees and Shrubs (http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG6703.html - broken link)

There's other information including other means of control.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:18 PM
 
4,897 posts, read 7,771,155 times
Reputation: 7088
I would have just immediately grabbed a bucket, put some soapy water in it and started knocking them off into it! Forget waiting to find out what to spray them with!

I hope her shrubs survive....nothing worse than having a favorite plant killed by bugs or some animal.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:08 PM
 
2,560 posts, read 5,504,388 times
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Without your picture, I would not have known what they were! So it's your fault! I think I just Googles---worms that eat pine needles and looked at the pictures.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elke Mariotti View Post
Okiegirlfriend, thanks again for your link!

While my daughter's pest is "only" a relative - it's the redheaded pine sawfly - without your link I would never have found the key word: sawfly!

Again, thank you

Redheaded Pine Sawfly - FIDL
and
Redheaded Pine Sawfly, HYG-2554-95
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, New York
205 posts, read 442,008 times
Reputation: 163
When we had these on our bushes we tried some eco friend pesticide, whatever that means, and it didn't phase them. In fact I think it made them pretty angry. We then tried a harsher pesticide and killed a lot of them but not all of them. Fearing that they'd come back full fold and kill us while we slept we hand picked the remaining pests off the bush. Victory was ours! A few of our bushes died though so we uprooted the remaining ones to look less akward.
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