The Problem

Pear & Cherry Slug

Pear and cherry slug (also called pear slug, or cherry and pear slug) is not a slug at all but the slimy-looking, brown to black, slug-like larvae of a sawfly. The female fly lays eggs into the leaves of pears, cherries, apples, quinces and their ornamental relatives such as flowering plums and hawthorns. After the larvae hatch out they begin to graze on the leaf surfaces. They gradually eat the upper surface of the leaf, leaving only a network of veins. They then pupate in the soil until the adult flies emerge to begin a new cycle. Sometimes the larvae over winter in the soil beneath the trees, so soil cultivation at that time of year gives some control.

Spraying with an insecticide is most effective when the larvae are young. Infestations on small trees can be removed by hand.

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