The Sawfly Larva is Back :(

May 15, 2009


I thought we got rid of them all last year. 🙁 I went out to my garden yesterday, to see how the weeds flowers and shrubs are growing, and spotted these nasty little devils on my Scotch pines again.


They are small right now; can you see them?

Sawfly Larva

In case, you don’t remember or you weren’t a devoted fan last year and missed all the fun– we had an infestation of the sawfly caterpillar last year. It was quite a surprise one morning to walk to my garden and see more than half of my pine tree completely defoliated by these horrid, disgusting little creatures.

Evil Bugs
Click the photo and click “all sizes” for a huge, close-up photo of these ugly bugs. Have a barf bag nearby.

We had to hand-pick them off the trees. It took HOURS and was more laborious than sorting through travel insurance quotes. :-p

Bug Soap Soup

This is what a healthy pine branch looks like:

Good Pine

This is what a pine branch after the European sawfly looks like:

Exfoliated Pine

Sawfly Damage

This is some of the damage these critters do:


They kill the pine. Destroying the needles basically suffocates and starves the tree. I have put a lot of time, money, and love into my plants and my gardens. I just cannot BELIEVE that a couple hundred bugs can destroy everything…. it’s always an uphill battle, isn’t it?! GRRR!

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16 Responses to “The Sawfly Larva is Back :(”

  1. Bonnie Story Says:

    Ugh, Eurotrash!! You are fighting the good fight there. Do you use a soapy solution on those little buggers or something more… toxic? I sympathize with you and best of luck getting your trees back!

    • Mrs. Mecomber Says:

      Hi Bonnie! Nope, that’s just dishsoap. Those are last year’s soap photos… we have to do it again this year. I really don’t know how to combat them, besides hand-picking them. But it seems other NYers have them, too, so I guess it’s an infestation. 🙁

      Karen– isn’t it awful!? I just DESPISE insects, HATE them. *sigh*

      Amy– thanks for the award! I will try to set aside some time early next week for it. 🙂

      Ana, yeah they are in foam. DYING. Muahahahahahaa!

  2. Karen Says:

    Ugh. I went through that, picking them off by hand, but with bag worms. Gross.

  3. Amy Says:

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  4. Ana Says:

    The caterpillars look amazing and so very pretty. What did you do with them after? As I see you hand picked them down, and they are in foam.

  5. Auntie E Says:

    Oh MY!! that looks like a all day job. No Pines here so I do not think I will see them. but I do not recall ever seeing so many.

  6. Karen Says:

    I’m crying right now after finding two of my mugo pines almost stripped over the last two days because of what I now know is the sawfly. They both have such nice new tips I thought they were going to be beautiful growing so nicely…my question – is there a chance of survival if they have still have new growth at the tips? what can I do to try and save hem? IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST!

  7. Allana Says:

    Hi there, thank you so much all of the research that you did on the sawfly. We have noticed for a couple of years this green dots stuff on our porch. I kept saying that it looked like caterpillar poop. And me being such a gardener and never investigated it further. All I had to do was look up!! Its weird because we only have the poop for a little while and then its gone??? crazy, anyways I am so upset about these sawflies. Our tree is way to tall to hand pick them all. I don’t believe in pesticides either. I am going to try and blast them off with the hose. Luckily we have an empty lot beside us. Yuck. Thanks again. Allana

  8. Cherry@NewburghRestoration Says:

    oh my goodness that was so disgusting! ewwww, I’m sorry they came back, after all that hard work you did of hand picking them off!

  9. Damien Says:

    You obviously know about using soapy water, but it’s really far far less disgusting to put the soapy water in a spray bottle. Just an old Windex bottle or somesuch will do the job. If you’ve got particularly large trees, then I’d say go with a Super Soaker full of soapy water. I spent every spring for about ten years spraying every tree in our yard in Jersey for those guys. I was a little kid so it was fun, but man there are a lot of them when they’re noticable. Fortunately you’ve got kids of your own so it should go much faster. Good luck next season!

    • Mrs. Mecomber Says:

      Hi Damien! Thanks for the tip. The only reason we used buckets of water was to drown the nasty things. I don’t think the soap in of itself acts like a pesticide.

  10. Karen Says:

    I used insect spray and the larvae fell off the plants and died. But constant vigilance is required.

  11. Lisa Says:

    What? Something I didn’t know about? What the x#&*$# is a sawfly and who brought that back to the states? I heard they come from Europe. I have them, my Dad has them wish it frost but its too late ROFLMAO!!!


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