Clearwing Moths

Pest: Clearwing moths (Sesiidae)

Pest Type: Insect Pest

Major Identifying Features: The larvae of several clearwing moths are important wood-boring pests, larvae are 1-1.5 inches long with a dark brown head and a white to pink body, after pupating, their pupal cases drop near to the base of the tree, adults have long, narrow front wings and shorter hind wings that are mostly clear, they are yellow or black

Life Cycle: Complete metamorphosis, 4 stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult), adults only live about a week and do not damage plants, soon after emerging from the pupa, females emit a pheromone to attract males, after mating females lay pinkish eggs in cracks, crevices, or wounded areas, eggs hatch in about 1-4 weeks, usually one generation per year

Pest Rating: Minor to moderate

Management Rating: Easy to moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Hosts include alder, ash, birch, fir, oak, pine, poplar, sycamore, willow, stone fruit trees such as apricot, cherry, peach, plum, their are active during the day or at twilight

Damage Information: Dying limbs, rough bark, trunk and branch swellings, sap exudation, sawdust-like excrement, larvae can damage the food- and water-conducting tissue of plants, branches may die and break off, trees may die

Management Options: Mature woody plants usually recover from a few clearwing larvae, cultural control by trapping, proper irrigation, tree care and whitewash, biological control with braconid wasps and other predatory insects, wich nematodes such as Steinernema carpocapsae et S. feltiae, chemical control with bark spray might be helpful (WARNING ON THE USE OF CHEMICALS) 



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