Pine: European pine shoot moth

categories: Conifers Ornamentals Pine Pine Insects

revision date: 2023-04-04 12:00

Pine : European pine shoot moth.
European pine shoot moth larva
Photo by: E.P. Breakey


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

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

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Prune and destroy infested tips in spring, before adults emerge. Be sure to prune far enough down the branch to remove the insects.

Chemical Management

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

  • 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.

Approved Pesticides

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

Additional Images