How to combat this garden pest?

The zeuzère is a very beautiful moth in adulthood, but in the larval stage it is a real pest in the garden. The larvae of this moth are indeed real pests that feed on wood. They dig galleries in the branches and trunks of trees and shrubs. Find out how to control zeuzera larvae.

Zeuzera Symptoms

In parks and gardens, it is the deadliest larva. Indeed, the latter attack the wood by digging galleries in the middle of the branches. A single caterpillar of this beautiful butterfly with white wings and blue-grey color spots can be enough kill a young tree† The presence of the larva is usually indicated by wilting of the branches.

Recognizing the zeuzère larva is very easy. It measures about 5 cm (which is very large for a larva), has a bright yellow color and is dotted with black spots on the body. His head is also completely black.

zeuzere
Credit: Ian_Redding/iStock

The life of the larva

When butterflies emerge in the summer, they only live for a short time, about 10 days. Their sole purpose is reproduction. For this, the female will lay down on the trees and in their crevices until 1000 eggs light yellow in color. It takes 10 to 20 days for them to hatch.

Once hatched, the larvae remain grouped in cocoons and, little by little, disappear to the ends of the host tree’s branches. Then they go back up the tree and eat the twigs and the sheets† As they continue their descent, they begin to tread the branches and dig galleries. They can even attack the tribe.

Fight and prevention against the zeuzère larva

There are few means to combat the zeuzère larvae. The life of butterflies is short, but the larvae remain silent in the trees. The birds can be of great help with a strong presence of the butterfly.

If you observe holes in the branches of your trees, it is possible to introduce a wire pointing upwards to kill the larvae present. If the branches are dead or very unhealthy, cut them and burn them. The vigilance remains necessary to combat this pest.