Garden Care

Top 5 Most Common Pine Tree Worms And Some Solutions To Limit The Influence

Pine is a perennial plant. If you do not pay attention, the pine tree will likely be infected with pests and diseases that waste time and effort in care.

So, let’s immediately find out the 5 most common pine tree worms below so that you can know how to detect and prevent them effectively.

What Common Types Of Pine Tree Worms In Agriculture

pine tree worms

If you grow pine trees, you can meet some worms damaging to this plant, such as bagworms, pine bark beetles,  Sphaeropsis, processionary pine caterpillars, Sawfly larvae, and southern pine worms.

European Pine Sawfly Larvae

Sawfly larvae come in a variety of kinds. However, they generally do not affect trees. Remove the sawfly larvae from the tree or remove the infected limbs and kill the worms to get rid of the infestation.

Use a pesticide at the rate its maker advises when applying it to pine trees with sawfly larvae.

The larvae of the European pines sawfly have gray-green bodies, two light and one dark stripe down each side, and glossy black heads and legs.

Adopted pine sawfly larvae have ridges of yellow and black markings down their flanks and are grayish. Larvae of the redheaded pine worms have orange heads and whitish bodies with brown markings.

Southern Pine Beetle Larvae

On stressed or afflicted pine trees, southern pine bugs lay their eggs. When the larvae hatch, they make a S-shaped tunnel beneath the bark.

The cambium is destroyed by the tunnels, resulting in pitch tube-like accumulations of resins on the tree’s stem.

Pine trees with an infestation develop reddish-brown needles. Infested pines should be pruned and burned because there is no chemical control for the larvae of the Southern pine worm.

Pine Processionary Caterpillars

One of the most damaging forest insects, the processionary pine caterpillar, can defoliate large pine tree areas when its population occasionally increases.

But what’s interesting about this caterpillar is that it’s one of the most pleasant.

Sibling groups stick together during the larval stage and frequently pupate next to one another at locations they get to by constructing head-to-tail processions that are long over the ground.

Pine Bark Beetles

In addition to fir and spruce plants, all varieties of pine trees are susceptible to attack by the pine bark beetle, a wood-boring insect.

Engraver bugs, southern pine beetles, mountainous pine beetles, and black turpentine beetles are only a few of the several varieties of pine bark insects.

This predatory insect penetrates through a tree’s bark and creates holes in it. It feeds on the tissue underneath the bark, preventing the tree from transporting nutrient-rich water.

Sphaeropsis Bagworms

The fungus Sphaeropsis is parasitic and saprophytic, which persists in living tissue and causes disease in the host plant.

However, they also strive on dead tissues of the host plant or diseased leaves that dry and fall to the ground.

The fungus only penetrates the plant’s trunk to cause stem ulcer disease, the roots cause root rot disease, or the young shoots of the tree cause apical death through wounds.

Fungal spores germinate and perform infection in warm weather.

Sphaeropsis mainly causes disease for many pine species, such as Tenasserim, Pinus Massoniana Lamb, and Caribbean pine.

This fungus causes various symptoms, such as dry leaves, dead ends, stem ulcers, and root rot.

This is a widely distributed fungus, classified as the most dangerous fungal disease of pine species in South Africa.

The disease often occurs in planted forests with high density, thick foliage, little lower-layer light, and poor ventilation conditions.


While female bagworms move or are carried to new locations and create nests, male bagworms change into moths.

A common bagworm on pine trees constructs a bag from leaves, branches, and silk, deposits her eggs inside the pinecone-shaped bag, and stays inside it the entire tree she is alive.

When evergreen bagworms hatch, they are shiny black on top and dull amber on the bottom.

The branches of trees with infestations will be stripped by adult bagworm infestation, which are dull gray with darker patterns close to their heads.

To get rid of the baby bagworms, remove the bags from the trees. Common bagworms on trees that are adults are challenging to manage or eliminate.

Solutions To Limit The Effects Of Pine Tree Worms

mugo pine worms

Farming Practices

Only select and use seedlings that are eligible for garden release and disease-free. If you must buy seeds, choose good-quality nurseries and good seedlings.

Do not buy seedlings from infected nurseries that have not been treated.

In addition, you need to strictly follow the steps of preparing the land for planting, preparing the soil, ensuring the allowable planting density, planting, and taking proper care of the Pine Forest.

Regular weeding, thinning, and providing enough nutrients and water is also effective disease-prevention measure for evergreen plants.

Suppose the forest is infected during the nurturing period but has not been thinned.

In that case, it should be combined with thinning, clearing, and burning vegetation, creating enough light for the forest to grow well to limit diseases.

Biological Measures

Cultivars of Tri-leaf pine need to pay attention to protect natural controls available on 3-leaf pine cones plantations, such as spiders, ants, parasitic wasps, wasps, etc.

In addition, birds and mantises also contribute to destroying young caterpillars on pine trees.

Protect fresh carpet shrubs, limit chemical spraying, increase the use of biological drugs such as biological products, and contribute to reducing environmental pollution.

  • Bees Eat Pine Leaves: When the density of the early caterpillar stage is high, it is possible to use biological products to wet the entire foliage. Spray the product in the cool of the afternoon.
  • Root rot disease: When the first 1 to 2 years of planting, infected plants can be applied with biological products directly around the base of the tree or mixed according to the dosage and sprayed thoroughly on the tree.

Mechanical & Physical Measures

  • Foliage Bee Sticky Trap: Because this type of caterpillar has the habit of moving down to the base of the tree to pupate, it is possible to use the sticky ring to prevent the larvae of the Leaf Eaters. In order for the adhesive ring to be highly effective, it must be covered with the area of the entire needle 1.3m above the ground with a width of 8-10cm.
  • Manual capture: Bees feed on white pine needles into cocoons on pine trees, shrubs, and vegetation, so they can mobilize human resources to participate in the manual killing. Young scarab beetles gather around the base of the tree to bite the roots and can be manually excavated and destroyed
  • Bait: Set traps by cutting deciduous trees and manure to attract adults to lay eggs, then collect traps by burning or soaking them in water to kill eggs hatch and larvae. The most suitable time is from the beginning of April to the end of May and the end of August to the middle of October.
  • Light traps: Some insects have a tendency to light, so at night, they use light bulbs to attract adults to kill them, such as scarab beetles and longhorn beetles.

Techniques For Keeping Newly Planted Pine Forests Healthy And Limiting Pine Tree Worms

worms on pine trees

Taking Care Of Pine Forest For The First 3 Years

The first 3 years are very important; right from the new stage of planting, you need to ensure the allowable planting density and pay special attention to taking care of pine trees at this stage.

Because planted forests have to go through 1-2 growing seasons, the survival rate is maintained, so the first 2-3 years must take care of the right technical process.

Periodically, 2-3 times a year, remove shrubs, vines, weeding, tilling, and rooting.

The first year is done 2 times in the middle and after the rainy season, and the second year takes care of 3 times before, in the middle, and after the rainy season.

Design a 10-20m wide band (80-100m wide bandwidth), plant broadleaf trees to fight forest fires, and limit pest damage. Organize effective fire prevention and fighting in the dry season.

Taking Care Of Pine Forest From The 3rd Year Onwards

From the 3rd year, pine trees have grown steadily; growers proceed to remove shrubs, and vines, weeding, tilling, and rooting… once a year.

In nurturing pine forests, depending on the business purpose and other specific conditions, the number of thinning times and the intensity of thinning vary.

Particularly for the timber and pine resin business, the number of thinning times is 2-3 times, the first time when the tree is 6-7 years old, the second time 4-5 years after the first time, the thinning intensity is 30-50%—the number of trees. The final number of trees kept 1,000-1,600 trees/ha.


After reading this article, you definitely found the answer about pine tree worms. According to the type of worm and the position of the pine trees, various worms will attack them.

Others can decay a whole tree in a matter of days, although many worms simply do cosmetic damage to trees by nibbling on a small number of needles.

You’d better consider which type of worm is damaging to your pine tree and then have the right solution.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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