WSU Whatcom County Extension

Integrated Pest Management for Blueberries

Sawfly

(Various Species)

Insects & Invertebrates

 

Sawfly

 

Symptoms

Although they rarely cause economic concern for growers, large numbers of sawfly larvae may cause damage by defoliating blueberry plants. The damage is caused by the slug-like larval stage which will feed on buds, flower parts and leaves. Larvae feed on the underside of leaves and often leave the top portion and veins of the leaves undamaged.

Sawfly Damage

 

Identification

Larvae look like small slugs, 5 mm (1/4 inch) long, shiny, greenish-brown.

Sawfly pinned

Adults are wasp-like in appearance but usually do not have the narrow waist associated with a wasp. They are dark colored which may have bright markings.

 

Life History

Blueberry sawfly adults lay eggs in late May, early June inside newly developing leaf whorls. Eggs hatch and larvae emerge within one to two weeks. Larvae will feed in the protected whorls, destroying the new growth. As the larvae mature they will feed on the fully developed foliage. After reaching maturity, the larvae move to the ground and spin cocoons in the litter where they spend the winter.

 

Monitoring

Sawfly Larve

When monitoring blueberry plants for leafrollers watch for sawfly larvae. They usually appear early in the blueberry season and are gone by mid-bloom with a second generation occurring in late summer.

 

Thresholds and Management

Soil cultivation in the summer and fall, when the larvae are in the soil, will reduce sawfly numbers. Chemical control of caterpillars and aphids will also take care of the sawfly larvae if applied when larvae are mature and feeding on developed foliage. If damage is noticed close to the end of harvest or after harvest, no control is necessary.

 

References

WSU Extension Publication, Sawflies, Art Antonelli
http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/plantclinic/resources/pdf/pls64sawflies.pdf

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WSU Whatcom County Extension • 1000 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225 • (360) 778-5800 • whatcom@wsu.edu