How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Tree Borers

Scientific names:
Prune limb borer: Bondia comonana
American plum borer: Euzophera semifuneralis

(Reviewed 3/09, updated 11/12)

In this Guideline:


Prune limb borer and American plum borer are sporadic pests in young almond orchards and in bark injuries on mature trees. They occur from Tehama to Merced counties on all major almond cultivars, but in young trees are found mostly on Carmel, Sonora, and Price. Adult moths have gray forewings with brown and black marks and have a wingspan of about 0.75 inch. They overwinter in a cocoon within the tree. Adult moths emerge in April and May. The mature larva is about 1 inch long with a dull white or pinkish body. Females lay eggs near pruning wounds, in scaffold crotches of young trees, in areas where bark has been damaged by trunk shakers on mature trees, or near graft unions or on crown galls.


Larvae bore into trees, leaving reddish orange frass and gum pockets. The boring is most damaging to the scaffold crotches or graft unions of young trees. Vigorous trees will heal over, but with heavy, prolonged infestations, scaffolds may break with wind or a heavy crop. Boring in callus formed under trunk-shaker bark injuries can greatly enlarge the initial injury, and also introduces spores of the Ceratocystis canker fungus, leading to subsequent trunk cankers that can girdle scaffolds and may ultimately lead to tree death.


Monitor young orchards in spring and summer for frass and gum pockets. If larvae are present, spray trees with a hand held sprayer from 1 foot above the scaffold crotch to 1 foot below, two to three times during the growing season. The first application should be in mid- to late April, and subsequent applications at 6-week intervals. Efficacy is improved if the trunk is painted with a latex paint to protect against sunburn immediately following a trunk spray. The paint helps to preserve the insecticide and give protection over a longer period of time. On mature trees, loose bark can be removed from trunk shaker injuries and wounds treated as described above for young trees.

Common name Amount to use R.E.I.+ P.H.I.+
(example trade name)   (hours) (days)

  Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
The following materials are listed in order of usefulness in an IPM program, taking into account efficacy and impact on natural enemies and honey bees. When choosing a pesticide, also consider information relating to environmental impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read the label of the product being used.
  (Sevin XLR Plus) 2 qt/acre 12 14
  COMMENTS: Do not exceed 15 lb/acre/season.
  (Lorsban 4EC) 3 qt/100 gal 24 14
  COMMENTS: Apply 0.5–1.5 gal/tree trunk. Avoid contact with fruit and foliage. Do not allow livestock to graze in treated orchards. Certain formulations emit high amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); use low-VOC formulations (PDF). Regulations affect use for the San Joaquin Valley from May 1 to October 31, 2015 and 2016. Review the Department of Pesticide Regulation's updated fact sheet (PDF).
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
+ Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of these two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest may occur.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode of action Group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Almond
UC ANR Publication 3431

Insects and Mites

F. G. Zalom, Entomology, UC Davis
C. Pickel, UC IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, Sutter/Yuba counties
W. J. Bentley, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
D. R. Haviland, UC IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County
R. A. Van Steenwyk, Insect Biology, UC Berkeley
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:
R. E. Rice, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
L. C. Hendricks, UC Cooperative Extension, Merced County
R. L. Coviello, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County
M. W. Freeman, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County

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