Cypress Tip Moth (Cedar)

Characteristics:

  • Eggs: Females lay eggs on the green tips of cypress, cedar, and juniper trees in late spring or early summer. Eggs hatch three weeks later.
  • Larvae: Tiny larvae tunnel underneath the leaf scales of cypress, cedar and junipers to eat. They feed throughout the summer and fall and remain in the leaf tip over winter. Their feeding causes the tips of these trees to die back about 2 to 3 centimetres. Once mature (6 millimetres long), the larvae pupate.
  • Pupae: Pupae are found in white, paper-like cocoons found among the dead or living foliage in early spring.
  • Adults: The adult cypress tip moth is silvery tan in colour with a wingspan of about 6 millimetres. The moth only appears in late spring or early summer.

Identifying infestations:

  • Brown needle tips on trees: The feeding larvae cause the tips of cedar, cypress, and juniper trees to turn brown and die.
  • Green larvae at branch tips: You may see small larvae at the tip of cedar, cypress, or juniper trees as they begin to tunnel under the leaf scales to eat.

IPM Toolkit:

  • Preventive tools: Not applicable
  • Physical tools: Not applicable
  • Biological tools: Not applicable
  • Least toxic chemical tools:
    • Apply Bacillus thuringensis var. kurstaki (Bt.k.) according to label directions.