Pine: Pine needle sheathminer (Pine sheath miner)

categories: Conifers Ornamentals Pine Pine Insects

revision date: 2024-06-05 02:07

Pine needles on a black background showing symptoms of Pine sheath miner.
Pine sheath miner
Photo by: R.S. Byther


Pine needle sheathminers are orange to tan larvae that feed on the needles. Young larvae mine inside needles, while older larvae feed at the base of needles inside the needle sheath. Damaged needles often droop or stick out from the stem at a sharp angle. Adults are silvery moths about 1⁄2″ across. They lay eggs on the needles in early to mid-summer. Pine needle sheathminers attack species and hybrids of two- and three-needle pines and seem to prefer smaller trees.

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 heavily infested branch tips in early spring before overwintering larvae start to feed, when practical.

Chemical Management

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

  • The following should be applied in dormant stage.
  • Sevin (carbaryl) is particularly dangerous to honeybees since it does not immediately kill them.
  • They return to the hive with the poison and distribute it within. Therefore avoid carbaryl if there is any possibility of pesticide drifting onto nearby blooming plants.
  • 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.