Contents: By Damage and Image
(In progress)
Contents: Alphabetical
alder flea beetle
aphid management
apple and thorn skeletonizer
apple ermine moth
ash whitefly new
azalea bark scale
azalea lace bug Updated
bark lice
Barypeithes root weevil
Beneficial nematodes
biocontrol of root weevils
birch aphid
black stem borer
bluegum psyllid
branch and twig borer
brown marmorated stink bug

bronze birch borer
boxwood leafminer
boxwood psyllid
bulb flies
carpet beetle New
Calligraph californica

Ceanothus stem gall moth
cereal leaf beetle
cherry ermine moth
chilli thrips
cinnabar moth
clay colored weevil
cottony camellia scale
cutworm Updated
cypress tip moth

dogwood sawfly
Douglas fir sawfly
Douglas fir twig weevil
elm leafminer
European pine shoot moth
European shot-hole borer Updated
European wool carder bee
emerald ash borer
Fall webworm
flatheaded cedar borer
hollyhock weevil
honeylocust plant bug
honeylocust pod gall midge
Heliothis phloxiphaga
holly bud moth
huckleberry root aphids
ground mealybug
lady beetle gallery
leaf weevil
light brown apple moth
maple tip moth
maple midge
March flies
mountain ash sawfly
spruce aphid on spruce
oak ambrosia beetle
oak slug
obscure root weevil
Pacific flatheaded borer
peach tree borer
peach twig borer
pear psylla
pear leaf-curling midge
pear sawfly New
pine needle scale
poplar and willow borer
rose curculio weevil
rose midge
sequoia pitch moth
speckled green fruitworm
tent caterpillars
viburnum leaf beetle
violet gall midge
western poplar clearwing
western spotted cucumber beetle
white pine weevil
woolly ash aphid

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Cypress tip moth

Cypress tip moth, Argyresthia cupressella, is also known as cypress tip miner or arborvitae leafminer. This insect can mine the foliage of arborvitae, cypress, juniper, and redwood. The adult is a small gray, narrow-bodied moth which lays its eggs on the tips of new growth in the spring. The eggs hatch and burrow into and mine the branch tips. They remain there, feeding, through the winter until early spring when the greenish larvae emerge from their tunnels to spin white, silken cocoons in which they pupate between the branches. They have been found emerging and spinning cocoons in mid-April during 2004. The literature reports that adult moths emerge in Oregon from early May until late June with a peak in late May and early June. There is one generation a year.

Damage: The larval feeding causes the arborvitae tips to turn brown in the late winter and spring, later defoliating. Feeding damage will not kill the plants but can make them unsightly and unmarketable.

Additional information and images of this insect can be found at the following websites:

Natural Resources Canada webpage on Arbovitae leafminer.

WSU Cooperative Extension: Cypress tip moth


One cultural control option is planting of resistant varieties of host plants. UC IPM online has a nice chart on the Susceptibility of Juniper (Juniperus spp.) and other Cupressaceae in California to the Cypress Tip Miner.

Some of the damage and possibly infested twigs can be sheared off in light infestations.

Chemical control may be warranted when large populations of miners are present. Soil applications of systemic insecticides (imidacloprid) in the early spring target the larval stages within the mines. The Cornell IPM guidelines for commercial nurseries (2013) list acephate applications to control larvae in the mines from 150-260 Growing Degree Days(GDD) and again in August (1800-2200 GDD). Applying a broad-spectrum, persistent insecticide to protect the new growth is timed to adult moth activity and the young larvae that hatch from their eggs (533-700 GDD). Good control with one application of spinosad is reported from one trial. When cocoons appear in the spring, foliage can be shaken to assess presence of the tiny moths. Check the PNW Insect Management Handbook for chemical management information for control of cypress tip moth in nurseries.


Tip moth damage
cypress tip moth damage on arbovitae
Photo: Rosetta
Cypress tip moth damage
cypress tip moth damage individual plant
Photo: Rosetta
Cypress tip moth damage closeup
cypress tip moth damage closeup
Photo: Rosetta
Cypress tip moth damage and cocoons
cypress tip moth damage closeup
Photo: Rosetta
Defoliation from tip moth damage
cypress tip moth defoliation
Photo: Rosetta
Mined arbovitae scales
cypress tip moth mines
Photo: Rosetta
Close up of damage and emergence hole
cypress tip moth damage
Photo: Jim Young, OSU
Larval emergence hole
cypress tip moth emergence hole
Photo: Rosetta
Newly hatched (eclosed) cypress tip moth larva next to a pollen grain
newly hatched larva of cypress tip moth next to pollen grain
Photo: Jim Young
Newly spun cocoon with visible larva
cypress tip moth new cocoon
Photo: Rosetta
Two cocoons spun between scales
cypress tip moth cocoons
Photo: Rosetta
Website editor:
Robin Rosetta

Page last modified 11/22/13


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