Leaves that become skeletonised or transparent with just their veins remaining tend to be the work of sawflies, which eat through the tissue of the leaf until it has almost completely disappeared. Be sure to throw the larvae in a bucket of soapy water and not just anywhere on the ground. The larva chew the leaves on one surface, so the other side can look good until the damage is severe enough to cause browning of leaf tissue. Some of the most common are the apple sawfly (hoplocampa testudinae), the common gooseberry sawfly (Nematus ribesii), the turnip sawfly (Athalia rosae) the pear and cherry 'slugworm' (Caliroa cerasi), the rose slug sawfly (Endelomyia aethiops), also known as the rose 'skeletoniser'. Scout now for this insect before larvae reach their full size and potential to damage pine trees. The larvae usually feed in groups on leaves and fruit of plants. If all the needles have been consumed from one tree, the sawfly larvae will move to another nearby pine. Food Safety So, it is not wise to use conventional insecticides … If problems occur year after year, scout early for eggs or larva. Manage these pests by handpicking larvae, or removing leaves having many of them. MSU Enviro-weather lists the European pine sawfly as having already hatched across the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Rose Sawfly Insecticidal soaps, horticultural oil, and pyrethrin are labeled for sawfly control. Its immature stage is a small larva with the appearance of a caterpillar that is a non-stinging relative of bees and wasps. Sawflies affect a number of different plants but different types tend to affect different crops. Also, clip off branches that have multitudes of larvae, or try to knock them off into a bucket of soapy water. Above left:  Above left: White pine sawflies, Michael Masiuk photo, above left                                         Michigan State University photo above right. The European pine sawfly commonly attacks Mugo pines in the landscape, but will also feed on Japanese, Scotch, and other pines. Master Gardener Program, Printable PDF   Sawflies (Caliroa cerasi), also known as cherry or pear slugs, are widely distributed throughout the United States and Canada. Select varieties that are reported as less susceptible to attack, particularly roses and apples. Damage first appears as browning of the needles and gradually the branches will become stripped of needles. The adult sawflies are 1/2 inch Larvae may be sprayed directly with insecticidal soap, if needed. Insecticidal soaps or spinosad are effective means of control also. Make sure coverage includes all the larvae. Larvae will also bore into developing fruits causing them to become scarred and exude sticky liquid. Adult sawflies are usually inconspicuous flying insects with two pairs of wings and often dark coloured bodies and legs. Cultivate your plants. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. Before treating, be sure that is what you have and that they are at a treatable stage. This information is for educational purposes only. At least 400 different species of sawfly have been recorded on plants in Britain. Handpicking may be the only control measure you need to control light infestations. They will lay their eggs on the larvae, and in turn, this kills the sawfly. They're often seen flying on warm sunny days in spring at blossom time when they usually feed on pollen and nectar. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Cocoons are found on the base of the plants and can be removed and disposed. Inspect bushes every week from April/May onwards for the signs of sawfly infestation then search for the larvae and remove by hand. Young larvae at first only feed on the needle surface, leaving behind brown, wilted needles, but as they mature into bigger larvae they will consume the entire needles. Michael Masiuk photo, above left                                         Michigan State University photo above right To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). This is one of the easiest methods to get rid of them (though it is kinda gross). Birds. How to get rid of sawflies naturally. Here’s how to get rid of them using proven, organic methods. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. The pupa of sawflies drop to the ground most times and grow in soil. A pest of the Cornus species, the Macremphytus tarsatus sawfly larvae can cause severe damage to the foliage of dogwoods, but seldom cause the death of the plants because defoliation occurs late in the season. By cultivating the soil, … Damage first appears as browning of the needles and gradually the branches will become stripped of needles.