Red-Headed Pine Sawfly larvae (Neodiprion lecontei)
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On Sep 10, 2008, Photog237 from Waynesboro, PA wrote:
My research has told me to either squash these, cut off the branches (if feasible), put them in a plastic bag and then destroy them, or to shake the larvae into soapy water to drown them. They are very destructive to the pine tree and from what I can see don't care if they are new or old needles, they just eat. I was fortunate enough to have found these before they did too much damage. I found more again today and removed those as well...and will continue to check for the next several days. It was hard finding out exactly what these were, and at first I mistook them for caterpillars. If you find them on your pine trees, get rid of them. They are destructive pests.
Miserable little devils, all they do is eat, 24/7, until the entire tree is defoliated! Once they've acomplished that one tree, down they come by the hundreds and 'swarm'
like army men to the next tree, and eat and eat and eat...they are extremely messy, clogging up the gutters and drains, from their fecal matter left behind! I have 80+ year old long leaf pines around my home and last year I thought I would go mad from them constantly falling on my porch roof(like it was always raining), clogging up everything, and devouring my pines!
When I called the county forester, I might as well have confered with my dog....finally I found that w/ the help of systemic insecticide, and fertilizer, we could save our trees and our sanity! Bayer makes a product that is premeasured and ready to use out of the bottle, but ours was too big of a job for that(and of course when we finally found out what to use for these miserable pests, no one had it locally or online!)
Well, we thought we had it 'whipped' but they are back this year, not quite as many but they're back and I'm ready to go on the attack again, until I'm sure they are all dead! They are a 'naturally occuring' pest in nature,I'm told, but for me, they can stay out of my yard and garden! I can only say one good thing about these'yellow catapillers' that aren't really 'catapillers' at all, but wasp larvae, is that they don't bite or sting.....