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FS ShieldForest Health Protection, Southern Region


Pissodes nemorensis Germar

Importance. - Eastern pine weevil adults and larvae can kill terminal and lateral branches, as well as girdle the stems of small trees. The weevil also vectors the pitch canker fungus, and its feeding wounds are infection courts for the pathogen. The weevil is found throughout the South and Mid Atlantic states. It attacks deodar and Atlas cedar, cedar of Lebanon, and various southern pines.

Identifying the Insect. - Adult weevils are rusty red to grayish brown, have long snouts, and are about 1/4 inch (6 mm) long. The larvae are legless grubs, with a reddishbrown head. The life stages of the eastern pine weevil are similar in appearance to those of the white pine weevil. Where their geographic ranges overlap, identification of the pest is usually based on the host species and the portion of the tree infested.


Adult. (Click for detail. JPG 28K)

Pupation in chip cocoon

Pupation in chip cocoon. (Click for detail. JPG 45K)

Identifying the Injury. - During the fall, weevil larvae feed on the inner bark of leaders, lateral branches, and stems of small trees. Infestations usually remain unnoticed until the following January, when infested branches begin to turn brown. Small trees may be girdled and killed.

Biology. - Adults emerge during April and May, and feed briefly on the inner bark of nearby trees, sometimes girdling stems and twigs before dispersing for the summer. Adults feed occasionally during the summer. Feeding activity increases just prior to and during the fall reproduction period. Females lay from one to four eggs in feeding punctures. The newly hatched larvae bore into the inner bark, where they construct winding galleries which girdle the stem. Winter is spent in the larval stage. Pupation occurs in chip cocoons in the wood during March and April. There is one generation per year.

Control. - Keeping shade trees in a vigorous condition by proper watering and fertilization helps reduce their susceptibility to weevil attack. Insecticides can be used to protect high value trees.