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University of Illinois Extension

Spruce Needle Miners

Hosts, Description and Symptoms

There are several species of needle miners. Spruce needle miner (Endothenia albolineana) attacks most types of spruces. Eggs are laid like shingles on the spruce needles. After hatching the larva enters the base of the needle, hollowing it out. The larvae cut the needles off after completely mining them. Dense mats of silk threads hold the dead needles on the twig. Larvae feed on one needle after another till fall. At this time, the larvae over-winter inside a needle. They emerge in the spring and feed till they pupate.


Apply an insecticide in early spring. Check with your local land grant university (Cooperative) Extension Service for recommended insecticide.


Written by James Schuster, retired Extension Educator, Horticulture & Plant Pathology, and reviewed by Dr.Philip L. Nixon, Extension Specialist-Entomology, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Filed under plants: Evergreen Trees & Shrubs

Filed under problems: Insects Damage

More information is available on Hort Answers.