University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers

Insect Damage

European Pine Shoot Moth
Rhyacionia buoliani

European pine shoot borer damage
European pine shoot borer damage
1 (1 = rare 5 = annual)
3 (1 = very little damage 5 = plants killed)
The European Pine shoot moth attacks red, mugo, Scots, Austrian, ponderosa and a several other pines. This insect is more of a problem in Christmas tree farms and in commercial tree nurseries then in the home landscape.

Plants Affected
The mining of the needles by the newly hatched larvae cause the needles to die and turn brown during the summer. The caterpillar then tunnelsthe tips of the branches, terminal and laterals. Commonly, infested tips (candles) are curved like shepherd's crooks. Severe infestation may give the infected tree a reddish appearance. Severe infestation on small trees may cause their death. Drought and poor growing conditions seem to increase damage by this shoot moth.

Life Cycle
There is one generation per growing season. Eggs are laid at the base of new needles in late spring. After hatching, the insect mines the base of the needle. The insect tunnels into the shoot from the base of a needle. By the middle of summer, the insect has moved into the new buds. By late summer the insect stops feeding. European pine shoot moth overwinters as a pupa in the injured tissue

Prune out and destroy the dead branch tips. If necessary use a recommended insecticide.

Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
Illinois Commercial Landscape and Turfgrass Pest Management Handbook
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic