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Sawflies

Characteristics:

  • Eggs: Females use a saw-like apparatus at the tip of their abdomen to slit the underside of host leaves where they lay their eggs which hatch about a month later.
  • Larvae: Larvae may resemble caterpillars (pine sawfly) or slugs (pear sawfly, rose slug). The majority of sawflies feed on conifer foliage and overwinter in the ground or on conifer trees.
  • Pupae: Some sawflies pupate in the spring; others remain in different pupa stages for 2 or 3 years (known as diapause).
  • Adults: Adult sawflies appear in early summer and look like a small bee.

Identifying infestations:

  • Tree defoliation: Sawfly larvae feed in colonies and eat the upper side of leaves. This causes the leaves to brown and then fall to the ground.

IPM Toolkit:

  • Preventive tools:
    • Follow a regular watering, fertilizing, and pruning schedule to keep your plants as healthy as possible to resist attack
    • Physical tools: Not applicable
    • Biological tools: Not applicable
    • Least toxic chemical tools: Not applicable