Pitch Moth

Pest: Pitch moth (Synathedon sequoiae et novaroensis)

Pest Type: Insect Pest

Major Identifying Features: Pitch moth adults are day-flying moths, have clear wings with black margins, head and legs can be blackish to yellow, abdomen is covered with hairs, 3/4 inches long, adults do not sting

Life Cycle: Complete metamorphosis, 4 stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult), require 2 years for one generation, adults can emerge from May through September, females lay eggs shortly after emergence and mating on bark, usually on injured sites, eggs are reddish-brown, oval and flattened, eggs hatch in about 2 weeks, larvae are dirty white, gray or pink, pupae sits in a chamber for about a month

Pest Rating: Minor to moderate

Management Rating: Easy to moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Hosts include Douglas-fir, most pine species, Monterey pine, spruces

Damage Information: Pitch moth larvae feeding causes infested conifers to produce copious amounts of resin that from globular masses on bark, damage rarely kills tress, can cause limbs to die and break

Management Options: Cultural control by pruning infested branches, by avoiding injuries on trees, appropriate irrigation, planting properly, physical control by scraping away resinous pitch cankers



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