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March Scouting Tips

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Insects to be on the Lookout for in March

Fruit Insects

Insect: Host(s)DescriptionTreatment Timing*
Aphids and Mites: Many fruit treesAphid eggs are small, black and shiny and are found scattered along the twig. Mite eggs are smaller, red and usually found near the spurs.Treat with a dormant oil at the 1/4" green stage for aphids and/or at the pre-pink stage for mites.
Eastern Tent Caterpillar: Many fruit treesLook for conspicuous egg masses on twigs.  They will form a dark brown varnished collar or belt encircling the twigs.Pick off and destroy all egg masses found: for big infestations or large operations, insecticidal sprays later in the spring may be needed.


Ornamental Insects

Insect: Host(s)DescriptionTreatment Timing*
Bagworm: Conifers, maples, sycamores, box-elders, and many othersCaterpillars form "bags" around their bodies, made of silk and plant debris. They overwinter as eggs in the bags; the eggs hatch in late May and early June.Pick off and destroy all bagworms now and/or treat with an insecticide in mid-June.
Pales Weevil: Eastern white and Scots pine, Douglas-fir,  other pines and some spruces  If you observed any dead seedlings, dead shoot tips, or small irregular patches of exposed wood last summer and attributed them to Pales weevil then you will need to treat this spring.Drench stumps and near- by soil with a lindane- kerosene mixture (7 tbs of 20% EC lindane in one gallon of kerosene) to kill egg-laying adults.  
White Pine Weevil: Eastern white pine, Norway spruce, Scots pine and occasionally other pinesLook for resinous bleeding in March and early April on the 8 to 10 inches of stem below the terminal leader.  Adult weevils chew holes in the bark to feed and lay eggs.Treat only the terminal upright leader down to the first whorl of branches. Do not spray the entire tree. Treat before April 1, prior to egg-laying by adults.


* See Virginia Pest Management Guides for recommendations on insecticides and rates. Use insecticide applications only when high population levels demand control action. Most plants can support small populations of pest insects.