WSU Extension


Cherry : Peachtree borer
(revision date: 3/10/2017)

The peachtree borer adult is a dark, bluish, clear-winged moth which somewhat resembles a wasp or hornet. The female, which has dark forewings and a red-orange band on the abdomen, lays eggs on the tree. Emerging larvae move to ground level or just below ground, where they burrow beneath the bark on the trunk and feed in the crown region. Signs of larval feeding include the presence near ground level of jelly-like gum mixed with dirt and pellets of excrement. Heavy infestations can weaken older trees, and foliage may be yellowed as if nitrogen-deficient. Young trees may be girdled and killed.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Pick out larvae with a sharp instrument. This can damage trees if not done carefully.
  • Probe into tunnels with a sharp wire to kill larvae.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply generally in late spring or when adults are active. Adult flight is usually from late June through September. Apply product to trunk at base above soil line. Esfenvalerate is toxic to bees. Do not apply products containing esfenvalerate on or near blooming plants. To minimize risk to bees, apply in the evening after bees have stopped foraging for the day.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Monterey Bug Buster II
    Active ingredient: esfenvalerate  |  EPA reg no: 1021-1778-54705
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
    - hide images

+ Show larger images

Caption: Peachtree borer and damage at base of tree
Photo by: K. Grey
Caption: Peachtree borer damage at base of tree
Photo by: R. Van Denburgh