Peachtree borer

Peachtree borer

Synanthedon exitiosa (Say)

Lepidoptera: Sesiidae


Adult is a clear-winged, metallic-blue moth that has one broad orange (female) or two or more yellow (male) bands across the abdomen (A); both sexes have more amber sheen on wings than lesser peachtree borer adults. Larva is white or cream-colored and hairless, with legs and a yellowish brown to dark brown head (B).

  • Damage

    Attacks all stone fruits, mainly peach. Larva burrows into the bark, usually entering at a crack or wound near the soil surface, and feeds on the cambium and tunnels between the inner bark and the sapwood. Larvae normally attack the tree trunk between 7.5 cm (3 in) below ground to 25 cm (10 in) above ground; larger roots are also occasionally attacked. Areas attacked often have masses of gum, mixed with frass, exuding from the bark (C). Young trees may be completely girdled and eventually die; older trees are debilitated and more susceptible to other insects or diseases.

    Management

    Species presence and flight activity can be monitored with pheromone traps. Mating disruption is an effective option for both species in multi-acre plantings; also, summer or postharvest trunk sprays of contact insecticides can be applied.

    Crops Affected

    • Cherries
    • Peaches
    • Plums
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