Spruce: Spruce needleminer

categories: Conifers Ornamentals Spruce Spruce Insects

revision date: 2023-02-07 12:00

Close-up of needle miner larva around base of spruce needles.
Spruce needleminer larva
Photo by: R. Van Denburgh


The spruce needle miner feeds on spruce needles from the inside out, starting at the base of the needle. These larvae are light greenish to brown and grow to approximately 1⁄2″ long. Large amounts of webbing are deposited around the needles. Completely mined needles may be cut off, sometimes resulting in severe needle loss. The spruce needleminer attacks mainly blue, Sitka, and Engelmann spruce in the western U.S. The adult is a small brown moth.

Management Options

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

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Natural predators may help control needleminer populations.
  • Hand-pick larvae on small trees.
  • Plant resistant species.

Chemical Management

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

None recommended.