How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Peach twig borer—Anarsia lineatella

Peach twig borer larvae are dirty white or light brown with a black head when they first hatch. The body turns chocolate brown as it grows and the white portions between each body segment give the appearance of bands. Mature larvae grow to about 0.5 inch.

Identification of species | Life cycle

Damage

Larvae bore into the growing shoots of twigs and ripening fruit or nuts. Shoots and leaves wilt and die back one to several inches from the growing tips of twigs. In fleshy fruit, injury is usually superficial.

Solutions

Tolerate low levels of damage. The most reliable control for peach twig borer is a dormant spray of spinosad or spinosad and oil, applied in winter to kill overwintering caterpillars on the tree branches. Spinosad or Bacillus thuringiensis, applied just as trees bloom and again a week later, also controls the pest. Avoid spraying during the growing season because it is difficult to time pesticide applications effectively. Sprays must be applied to control hatching larvae before they enter twigs or fruit.

Peach twig borer larva
Peach twig borer larva
Boring into shoots
Boring into shoots

Damage to plum
Damage to plum

Wilting and death of shoot
Wilting and death of shoot

 


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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