Scientific name: Cossus cossus
Common name: red drill, fruit tree borer
It affects: fruit trees of bone and seeds, and many other species of fruit, forest and ornamental trees.
State Size Features
Larva Up to 120 mm Head black. The upper part of the body is darker than the lower part, being reddish in its first stages, darkening as it develops until it reaches a reddish brown tone. The lower part has a pink-orange color. You can spit a reddish substance when you feel threatened.
Adult 70-100 mm (wing span) -
Egg 1-2 mm Light brown to yellowish with darker stripes.
Egg Pupa Adult Adult Total cycle
Duration (d) 13 to 30ºC 8-15 - 15-30 -
Adults appear at the beginning of spring in a staggered manner. After fecundation, the female lays eggs in groups on the trunk bark. As they fan the eggs, the neonatal larvae penetrate the interior of the tree and overwinter. The following year is when they cause the most serious damage, digging food galleries to complete their development before returning to winter. The third year the caterpillar pupates inside a cocoon of sawdust remains in the gallery, previously practices an exit hole to the outside that plugs with sawdust. The adult appears in spring thus closing the cycle.
1 every 2 or 3 years
Symptoms / Damage
Galleries up to 15 mm in diameter in the trunk (sometimes in branches) that destroy the vascular system.
General weakening of the tree can cause death.
Sawdust and / or excrement at the base of the trunk.
Presence of caterpillars and galleries when lifting the bark.
The greatest chance of finding damage is in the neck of the trunk.
The attacks are usually to stands within the plot.
As it happens in all the plagues that practice galleries, the chemical treatment is complicated by the difficulty of which pesticide and caterpillars come into contact.
In spring and summer, during the hatching of eggs to act on the larvae before they enter the interior of the wood.
Treatment applied on the trunk by spraying.
Fruit trees of bone and nugget
Pyrethroids: alpha cypermethrin, beta-cyfluthrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, esfenvalerate (only in pip fruit), lambda-cyhalothrin, zeta-cypermethrin (only stone fruit).
There is an added problem and that is that when adults appear in a staggered way, there is no clear population maximum being the long flight period, and as a consequence the birth of the larvae. This means that treatments must be repeated every two weeks for a long period: from spring until the end of August.
There are some organisms that affect this insect, although they are not able to control it properly.
Diptera (Tachinidae), hymenoptera (Ichneumonidae), Beauveria bassiana (fungus) and polyedrosis virus.
- Cultural measures
The caterpillars can be removed manually by barking the area with symptoms and extracting the individuals with a wire (or by pruning if necessary). Advisable in isolated cases.
It is necessary to place pheromone traps for the capture of adults in order to track populations and act in a timely manner.
For massive trapping place 10 traps / Ha.
Keeping the plantation healthy and vigorous will make the attack of the plague difficult.
This plague brings with it the appearance of scolitids, which end up weakening the tree.
It is convenient to eliminate the trees that are very affected.