Pear Slug!

First post for me. I live in Los Osos, Ca. Zone 10 (hence my name LowChill!).
I’ve been growing apple/asian pear trees for about 4 years now. I have them espaliered along the fence in my back yard. They are doing quite well, but a few years ago I noticed a strange “slug” on the asian pears. They don’t get in the fruit, but do a good number on the leaves. After further research revealed that they are pear sawfly larvae.
So my question is…how do I get rid of them? I haven’t sprayed my trees yet, but guessing I need to. What would be the best treatment for this pest?


Yup, we have them terribly here in both N and S California. Most of their damage is cosmetic unless you have really high populations, but Spinosad will do them in. Supposedly, you can hose them off, but it takes a pretty strong spray, and I felt like I was wasting a lot of water trying to hose them off. Contrary to their name, they are actually not a fly, but in the wasp family, interestingly. Their larvae are horridly ugly, like little slimy slugs, ick. They get after both my pears and my cherries.

Patty S.

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Thanks for the reply. After reading more about them…it sounds like you can’t treat them before, but after they emerge?
Is the spray you suggested ( Spinosad) organic? I haven’t had to spray my trees yet.

Spinosad is organic. Spray when you see the larvae. You can use a sticking agent in combination (I like to use Neem), and my spraying is much after blossom time, so no worries about bees or other pollinators.


OK…great! So do you mix the neem into the spinosad? What kind of ratio do you mix it with?

I mix up the Spinosad and the Neem separately, to their correct ratios per label, then add them to my sprayer. I use regular Neem, not raw Neem.

Patty S.

Thanks a bunch. I just bought both!