About plant bugs
- Sawflies resemble caterpillars but they are not. Sawfly larvae have more than 5 pairs of prolegs on the abdomen. Common examples include black-headed ash sawfly, dogwood sawfly, and dusky birch sawfly (see above photo).
- Sawflies often have shiny red or blackheads and the bodies often have black spots or stripes, and are 2 to 1 inch long.
- They like to feed in groups and many may be found together feeding on a branch (called gregarious behavior).
- In light infestations, damage may appear as defoliation on needles of individual branches or shoots.
- Heavy infestations may cause complete defoliation of conifers.
- Manually removing and destroying the sawflies may control light infestations. They usually are closely gathered together feeding in the same area of the plant.
- Heavy infestations of young larvae may be sprayed with horticultural oil.