WSU Extension


Armillaria root rot 
Dwarf mistletoe 
Elytroderma needle cast 
Lophodermella needle cast 
Lophodermium needle cast 
Phytophthora root rot 
Western gall rust 
White pine blister rust 
Eriophyid mites 
European pine shoot moth 
Mountain pine beetle 
Pandora moth 
Pine aphid 
Pine bark adelgid 
Pine butterfly 
Pine needle scale 
Pine needle sheathminer (Pine sheath miner) 
Sequoia pitch moth 
Spider mites 
White pine weevil 

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Caption: European pine shoot moth larva
Photo by: E.P. Breakey
Pine : European pine shoot moth
(revision date: 2/14/2019)

The larvae of the European pine shoot moth feed on tips of branches, boring first into needles or bud bases, then into the shoots. Infested tips are covered with pitch-covered webbing, often develop a characteristic "shepherd's crook" shape, and may die back. Infested needles are yellowed near the twig tips and eventually turn brown and die. The mature larvae are about 5/8" long and reddish-brown with black heads. Adult moths are reddish-orange with silver markings on the wings. All pines are susceptible, especially two- and three-needle species.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Prune and destroy infested tips in spring, before adults emerge. Be sure to prune far enough down the branch to remove the insects.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Applications must be made at 2-week intervals starting about June 1 and ending in mid-July. The initial application is based upon moth flight and can vary geographically. Pheromone traps are available to determine moth flight period. Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall. Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Safer Brand BioNEEM Multi-Purpose Insecticide & Repellent Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: azadirachtin  |  EPA reg no: 70051-6-42697
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.

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Caption: European pine shoot moth larva
Photo by: E.P. Breakey
Caption: European pine shoot moth damage
Photo by: E.P. Breakey
Caption: European pine shoot moth adult
Photo by: E.P. Breakey