Pine: Coneworms

categories: Ornamentals Pine Pine Insects

revision date: 2023-02-07 12:00

Two coneworm holes in bare branch.
Pine coneworm damage
Photo by: L.J. du Toit


Coneworms attack trees by boring into green cones. They also may bore into shoot tips or stems, especially around wounds. Tip dieback may result from coneworm feeding. Injured twigs often can be distinguished by the presence of pitch and sawdust-like frass produced by the coneworms. These larvae are small (about 1⁄2″ long) and light brown with a darker head. The adult coneworm is a mottled gray moth. Coneworms also attack true firs, hemlocks, Douglas fir, and spruces.

Management Options

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

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Remove and destroy infested twigs and cones when possible.
  • Plant non-susceptible conifers where coneworms are a serious pest.
  • Natural enemies of the coneworm are likely.

Chemical Management

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

  • None recommended

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