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White Pine Weevil

Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
The white pine weevil, Pissodes strobi (Peck), is considered the most destructive insect pest of eastern white pine in Pennsylvania with either forked or deformed trees resulting from repeated infestations. Trees become susceptible to injury when they reach a height of about three feet, and trees exposed to direct sunlight are more susceptible to attack .

Adults are 1/4" long reddish-brown weevisl with white patches on the end of their wing covers. Like most weevils, the adult has a long snout-like beak from which knobbed antennae arise. Larvae, living beneath the bark, are white, legless, with a distinct brown head. They are 5/16" long when mature.

The first symptom of attack by this pest is glistening droplets of resin on terminal leaders in late March and April. This is the result of punctures made by adults in the process of feeding and cutting egg-laying sites. Larvae do the most damage as they tunnel downward in the leader, causing the shoot to wilt and eventually die. Repeated infestations in successive years results in a deformed or forked tree.

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