Moth borer

The larvae of this group of moth borers do damage to a range of stressed native trees. Some eat bark and can ringbark stems, causing death of the section. Others eat leaves, which they drag to the entrance of tunnels. The bark-eating larvae form nests of bark and droppings bound together by a web (see photo).
To get rid of these pests, prune off the webbing and destroy the larvae. Also remove damaged sections of bark. If twigs and foliage are damaged, prune them off and look for tunnel entrances. Poke a piece of fine wire into the holes as far as it will go. Remove the wire, and then seal the holes with putty, Blu Tack, or fine clay.
Attack by this pest is an indication that the plant is stressed and low on nutrients. Apply a complete fertiliser suitable for natives. Give the tree a drink of seaweed extract tea. Do not allow grass to grow close to the tree. Check drainage, and improve watering, if necessary. Use leaf mould as mulch around these plants.
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