Pine pest - wasp?

Graydon

Chumono
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We had a great rain yesterday evening so I was able to turn off the irrigation on timers for today. I did a quick walk around this morning just to check on everything. To my dismay I found fresh cut needles on the top of the soil in many of the pine pots. They looked clean cut, almost as if I had sheared them off. I have done no pruning so it was not that.

All signs point to a wasp I have seen for years. Wahoo172 and I have discussed this as he has seen wasps cutting needles on his pines too. The extent of the cutting in the past has been very small, just a few needles here and there. Apparently they had a party this morning - on my pine bench.

Here's the question - how can I deal with these pests? If they continue at the rate they did this morning I'll have defoliated pines in a week or so.

I'll try to get a photo of one in action soon so it can be identified.
 

Jay Wilson

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Graydon,
I have notice the odd cut needles on my pines. I have also seen wasps cuttiing them but not to the degree you have described. I have no clue as to what to do.

Jay
 

Graydon

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It must have been a random party as I have not seen as many cut needles in the last 2 days (knock on wood). The only research I was able to find references "pine and wasp" as a predatory wasp to the southern pine bark beetle but it's not the same wasp I have seen on my trees. They don't touch my sand pines, only the Japanese black pines. Hmmmmm.

I hate to use insecticides as there are so many good bugs. I suppose if it gets bad again I will need to put up some mosquito type netting covering the bench with the more advanced pines. The reality is I can't protect them all.

Still trying to get a photo of a wasp in action.
 

Tachigi

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It must have been a random party
I've stumbled into one or two of them myself. In the morning I said what a great party wonder were it was. Maybe the wasps are having the same problem, or that pine sap gave them a helluva hang over.

They make a wasp trap, use pheromones (sp?) or something. If I can remember the name I'll forward it on to you.
 

wahoo172

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drunken wasp orgy

Hey, I think there must have been a band of rouge drunken wasps sucking pine sap and cavorting around Polk County the last couple days, I saw the results on my JBP's the next day after reading this thread.
I tried having a tantrum, lets see if that worked to keep them at bay.
 

Graydon

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Hey, I think there must have been a band of rouge drunken wasps sucking pine sap and cavorting around Polk County the last couple days, I saw the results on my JBP's the next day after reading this thread.
I tried having a tantrum, lets see if that worked to keep them at bay.
I was almost certain that you left a bribe and a map to my house for those wasps.

I spent nearly an hour standing there today with a camera waiting for one to show up. Sigh - no luck. At this point I need photo proof or all the west coasters are going to think I'm a little nuts.
 

Graydon

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I was watering this evening and look what I found! Had to make a mad dash for the camera inside. It was so interested in what it was doing it paid no attention to me. Didn't try to escape or anything. I do think he was a bit ill. I had treated the pines with an insecticide and given them a dose of systemic. Soon after I shot the photos he fell to the bench and wobbled around for a while.

So.... is this the dreaded "chew the needle" wasp or the "predator" that is looking for shoot tip moths? I believe them to be one and the same after a bit of research. I think the needle chewing is just so it can get to the larvae of the moth. Unless I see an outbreak of moths on the trees I will let the systemic do it's thing - as well as let the wasp do it's thing.
 

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wahoo172

Yamadori
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wasp

I saw a wasp today that looked just like him/her, he was on the large juniper I have in that oak box.
I have not seen much needle cutting lately and have no brow shoots on my pines. Guess that bribe worked.
 

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