Sawfly Larvae Are On The Loose!

The first Sawfly larvae sightings of the year [1999] have been reported here to the Brandon University Hortline. It is of great importance that we alert area residents about this fact, for these hungry little critters just love to eat the foliage from conifers such as spruce and larch and have the awesome capability of defoliating an entire tree in the span of one day. Insecticides such as Malathion and Diazinon are INEFFECTIVE against sawflies; control is done through the application of a bacterial insecticide, known either by “Bt”, or perhaps just “bacterial insecticide”.

The sawfly larvae are only a few centimeters long, with greenish bodies often striped with black, and distinct heads in colors such as black or red. If it is believed that a tree is infested with these insects, positive identification can be made by bringing a specimen down to the Hortline located in room 3-27, on the third floor of the Brodie Science Building in Brandon University.

Compiled By: Dr. Bill Paton and Jennell Rempel