Friday, April 22, 2011

Boring Times are Upon Us


From: Steven Frank, Extension Entomologist

Boring Times are Upon Us

A number of clearwing borers are active that can damage ornamental trees and shrubs. This week we captured over a hundred lesser peach tree borers in a single trap. The lesser peachtree borer, Synanthedon pictipes LPTB, is primarily a pest of peach and cherry trees including ornamental cherry. We also caught a lot of dogwood borers, Synanthedon scitula. Dogwood borers have a wide host range that includes dogwood (Cornus florida), but also cherry and apple. In both species adults emerge from tree trunks in spring (now!) and lay eggs on the bark of host trees. Larvae hatch and bore through bark and into trees. Existing bark damage is a preferred oviposition site. The primary means of prevention for susceptible trees is maintaining healthy trees and protecting trees from mechanical damage to bark. In addition, a contact insecticide such as permethrin can be sprayed on tree bark to deter oviposition and successful entry by larvae.

Traps in WNC are also being monitored- an update will be available soon.

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.