Ornamental Plum: Peachtree borer

categories: Ornamental Plum Ornamental Plum Insects Ornamental trees Ornamentals

revision date: 2022-11-28 12:00

Peachtree borer and damage at base of tree.
Peachtree borer and damage at base of tree
Photo by: K. Grey


The western peachtree borer is the larvae of a clear-winged moth. Adult moths are blue-black, about 1″ across, have mostly transparent wings, and appear somewhat wasp-like. They are attracted to bark injuries. The larvae are white to yellowish with brown heads and often mine around the roots, in the trunk at ground level, or higher on the trunk. Mined trees often have gumming (sap leakage) and large amounts of a sawdust-like material present at the entrance holes. Mining can weaken and kill large branches and entire trees by girdling them.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Avoid injuries to trees, particularly to the trunk and crown areas.
  • Prune during late winter to early spring, so wounds can heal before adult female moths are laying eggs.
  • Carefully remove individual larvae with the tip of a pocketknife. Try to avoid further damage to the tree.
  • Maintain vigorous, healthy trees.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.