Pine: Sequoia pitch moth

categories: Conifers Ornamentals Pine Pine Insects

revision date: 2023-02-07 12:00

Mass of pitch on the bark of tree trunk.
Sequoia pitch moth
Photo by: S.J. Collman


The larvae of the sequoia pitch moth feed by boring into branches or trunks. At the point where the larva enters the wood, small to large masses of white to pinkish pitch accumulate. The larva feeds locally underneath the pitch mass. Although healthy trees are occasionally attacked, stressed trees are most vulnerable. Branch crotches are also sometimes infested. Adults are black and yellow clear-winged moths that somewhat resemble yellowjackets. This pest causes mainly aesthetic damage (the pitch masses). Incidentally this pest does not attack Sequoia.

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 susceptible trees (pines, Douglas fir) only when egg-laying females are not active (around October to March).
  • Avoid mechanical injury to trunks and branches which may provide sites for infestation.
  • Remove pitch masses and associated larvae by hand.

Chemical Management

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

  • None recommended