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Raspberry Cane Borer , Oberea bimaculata (Olivier), are slender beetles, about 1/2 inch long, with antennae about as long as the body. The beetles are black except for a section behind the head that is bright orange with two or three black spots.
Raspberry Cane Borer
The beetles appear in raspberry plantings in June, and the females deposit their eggs singly in the pith of the tender new growth, about 6 inches below the tip of the cane. The beetle makes two characteristic rows of punctures that encircle the cane about 3/4 to 1 inch apart; between these, but nearer the lower row, an egg is inserted. The girdling of the cane causes the tip to wilt. When the eggs hatch, the larvae tunnel toward the base of the cane.
One account the larvae reach the base of the cane by fall. By another account the larvae spend the first winter within an inch or two of the row of punctures and then complete their journey to the base of the cane the next growing season. In any case, the cane is weakened and usually is killed before the fruit matures.
Life Cycle: Raspberry cane borer is distributed from northen united states, and has been reported as being very destructive in Quebec. It infests the young shoots of raspberry, blackberry and sometimes rose. Adults appear in June, and are present until late August. After ovipositing, the female girdles 6 mm above and 6 mm below the egg puncture. Shoot tips wilt in early summer.
Some accounts of the life history maintain that larvae spend the winter not far from the point of girdling; in other accounts, larvae reach the base of the cane by fall. In the spring, tunneling continues, and a second winter is spent at or near the soil surface. In the following spring larvae reach a length of 2 cm. After the pupal stage, adults appear in June.
Raspberry Cane Borer
Upon hatching, the larvae bore downward in the cane, overwintering not far below the point of the lower girdle. The next season, they continue to bore until reaching the crown. The second winter is passed at or below ground level. The following spring, full growth is attained and larvae pupate. The new adults begin emerging in June. Two years are required to complete the life cycle.
Damage: Attack by the raspberry cane borer on blackberry, raspberry and rose results in tip die back and cane death. Damage is readily identified with this insect by two rings of punctures about 1/2 inch apart and located 4-6 inches below the growing tip. These girdles cause the tip to wilt. Damage becomes more profound as the larva burrows to the base of the cane, causing the entire cane to die before the fruit matures.
Controls: The best cultural control practice is the destruction of the canes that show characteristic injury. If pruning is done within a few days after the wilted tips appear, only 25 mm (1 inch) or so below the wilted portion of the tip needs to be removed. To be sure, inspect the cut surface of cane; if there is evidence of borer damage below the cut, continue cutting off short sections until all bored area has been removed. Burn all prunings to destroy the insect inside.
Raspberry Cane Borer Damage
Crush old stubs in early spring. As soon as wilted tips appear, cut them off several inches below the girdled portion.Remove and destroy all infested canes.Eradicate wild brambles in the area.
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