The peach borer is a native of North America, found wherever peaches are grown east of the Rocky Mountains. A closely related species dwells in the West
It is most important insect enemy of peach trees, but also attacks plum, wild and cultivated cherry, prune, nectarine, apricot and various ornamental shrubs.
Peach Borer Appearance and Habits
The first sign of injury is usually a mass of gum and brown frass at the base of the tree trunk, indicating that white worms, with brown heads, are working in the bark, anywhere from 2 to 3 in. below ground to 10 in. above. The winter is passed in this larval stage; in spring the borers resume feeding, attain their full inch-long size, then work to the surface of the bark to form cocoons of gum, excrement and bark particles.
Shortly before moth emergence, brown pupa cases are forced partly out of the cocoons. The moths are a little over 1 in. across their wings; the males are blue, with transparent, blue-bordered wings; the females have an orange band around a blue abdomen, blue fore-wings, transparent hindwings. Each female lays several hundred eggs near the base of the tree trunk, young worms hatching in about ten days to work their way inside the bark. Peaches seldom survive repeated borer attacks.
How to Manage Peach Borers
Dig out the borers when you notice their gummy residue around the base of the tree.
When planting peach trees, make a tin “shield” that circle the tree and fill the space between the shield and tree with tobacco dust. This forms a protective pesticide layer.
You can also encircle trees with moth balls or soft soap.
Coat bark of new trees with Tanglefoot of Stickem.
Plant garlic near the trees.