Greater Peachtree Borer

    Greater Peachtree Borer

    Synanthedon exitiosa

    peachtree borer

    Female peachtree borer (Clemson University, Bugwood.org)

    peachtree borer larvae

    Peachtree borer larvae (Eugene E. Nelson, Bugwood.org)

    peachtree borer damage

    Peachtree borer damage to base of a tree (H. C. Ellis, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org)

    Pest Description

    • female adults: 1 inch; metallic blue with an orange stripe around abdomen
    • male adults: 7/8 inch; black with yellowish-white stripes
    • immatures: up to 1 1/4 inches; pinkish-white caterpillar with a brown head capsule; no legs
    • pupal skin often extrudes from exit hole near tree crown

    Host Plants, Diet & Damage

    • cherry; nectarine; plum; peach; apricot
    • larvae feed on cambium in large roots and lower trunk
    • loose, dead bark; gummy, frass-filled masses at tree base
    • partial girdling can cause wilting and yellowing leaves
    • girdle trees causing tree death
    • young trees particularly vulnerable to complete girdling

    Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage

    • overwinter as larvae under the bark
    • adults are active from mid-June through late-August
    • lay eggs in mid-summer in soil at the base of host trees
    • larvae hatch and attack the lower trunk/root crown
    • one generation per year
    • larvae are the damaging life stage

    IPM Recommendations

    • Use resistant tree varieties.
    • Monitor using delta traps and greater peachtree borer pheromone lure starting in mid-June.
    • Hang monitors as close to the ground as possible.
    • Mating disruption may be used in orchards > than 1 acre.
    • Avoid winter trunk injury by painting the lower 12 inches of trunk with a 50:50 latex paint:water solution.
    • Use a horticultural tree wrap only in the winter.
    • When moth flight begins (early-July in northern Utah), apply an insecticide (anthranilic diamide (non-fruit and nut bearing trees); carbamate; organophosphate; pyrethroid)) to the lower 12 inches of the trunk and soil.

    For more information, see our Greater Peachtree Borer fact sheet.