By Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension specialist, entomology
Also called the peach crown borer, this is the most serious insect pest along the Front Range for cherry, plum and peach trees. Damage is caused by the grub -- caterpillar -- stage of the insect that tunnels under the bark usually just below the soil line. Greater care must be taken in controlling this insect because it affects a food plant.
Adult moths usually emerge and begin laying eggs in early July. A variety of insecticides are used to combat the borer, but uses vary depending upon the type of tree and degree of infestation. Consult the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office in your county. Those who don't want to spray can hand-remove the borers or treat them with insect-parasitic nematodes more of which are commercially available each year. Maintaining healthy plants and spraying recommended insecticides on the trunk and lower branches are the best defenses against the peach tree borer.
It is difficult to suggest effective insect controls for every situation. Consultations and printed information are available through Cooperative Extension offices. Timing and correct information are the keys to solving insect problems.
For more information, see CSU Fact Sheet 5.566.
Photographs courtesy of USDA
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010