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sequoia pitch moth

simplypete

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Just wondering if anyone has had any luck with physically removing this pest. I was told to not use any pesticides and that I could remove the larvae with relative ease. Any suggestions?

Pete
 

simplypete

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here is a picture if anyone is interested. They are living in a ponderosa pine.
 

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xtremetrees

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Sorry dont live in that area never seen those trees or those bugs.
 

sotc

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they are on variable cycles so its hard to get rid of them, dig the pitch mass out and throw it away. pesticides really dont work cause the larvae isnt in the tree, its in the mass as youve showed. nice pics by the way. they are mainly an aesthetic problem
 

simplypete

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they are on variable cycles so its hard to get rid of them, dig the pitch mass out and throw it away. pesticides really dont work cause the larvae isnt in the tree, its in the mass as youve showed. nice pics by the way. they are mainly an aesthetic problem
Copy that. That's what I've been told around here by some local bug geeks. I have a job to pick all the bugs out of a landscape tree. Sounds like a good time, pitch and all. So do you think they will stay gone or be a reoccurring thing? Of course I will advise to water the tree a little better, I think that was the reason the tree was inviting them in to begin with.
 

sotc

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they will be back, less work to keep up with than the first go round though
 
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Frans

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water is good. The more fluid the pitch is, the better the tree is able to eject the critters
 

simplypete

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I would assume that they excrete it through their rectal cavities. :O They do chew on a small part of the cambium and then feed on the fluid that comes from the damage. Like was already said, I don't think they do any major damage just that it looks a little unsightly. Some of the pitch/fras mounds are as big as a fist.
 

sotc

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i think they secrete somthing into thecambium that causes the pitch to keep flowing and foam up like it does. i think
 
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Frans

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the pitch moth does not make the tree exude pitch. Healthy trees have lots of pitch and force the critter out when it drills into the cambium
 

sotc

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but the pitch is a different color, texture and flows different than just a hole in the tree. any idea why?
 

simplypete

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but the pitch is a different color, texture and flows different than just a hole in the tree. any idea why?
I would think that they ingest at least some of the pitch. I think the color of the pitch is then also the color of the excrement, which is somewhere between pitch and poop. Maybe a little of both. The moth larvae also puts future larvae into the pitch mound in the form of eggs. Feel free to school me if that is wrong.

Pete
 

simplypete

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but the pitch is a different color, texture and flows different than just a hole in the tree. any idea why?
As for the flow, I believe that they continue to drill around and produce more pitch to flow. Creating more food, poop, and a better place to incubate their eggs for future generations.
 

sotc

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ok, it didnt say any thing about the pitch butthe 2nd edition of insectes that feed on trees and shrubs (pg 72) says
eggs are laid singlyon the bark of the trunk or limbs of pines. after hatching, the larvae tunnel into the inner barkand cambium region, where they excavate a cavity and establish a feeding site. large accumulations of of pitch and frass form on the outside of the tree at the point of attack. the mature larvae is about 25mm longand has a reddish brown head and light yellow body. new attacks often occur at the sites of old ones.
 

simplypete

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ok, it didnt say any thing about the pitch butthe 2nd edition of insectes that feed on trees and shrubs (pg 72) says
eggs are laid singlyon the bark of the trunk or limbs of pines. after hatching, the larvae tunnel into the inner barkand cambium region, where they excavate a cavity and establish a feeding site. large accumulations of of pitch and frass form on the outside of the tree at the point of attack. the mature larvae is about 25mm longand has a reddish brown head and light yellow body. new attacks often occur at the sites of old ones.
ok so my question is do the larvae lay the eggs or the adult moth? My reasoning would tell me the adult moth would be the culprit. Sticky pheremon traps may be helpfull for future egg-layers.
 

simplypete

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My other thought would be. Does the adult choose the pitch glob of the old larvae that has already pupated and flown away, to lay the new egg, because I was told to get rid of the old globs due to the fact that the larvae may be to small to see and embedded in the old pitch mounds.
 

sotc

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moth mates and lays eggs wich hatch into larvae. ive read that pheremone traps confuse the males by drawing them in away from femles thereby minimizing breeding
 
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Frans

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Trees have natural defenses against highly specialized insects and disease.

These insects and diseases are fought off successfully by a healthy tree.

With certain exceptions.
 
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