I was pruning a Pine tree last week and came across this guy:
It’s a called a Sequoia Pitch Moth – Synanthedon sequoiae. The larvae feed on the cambium (living tissue) part of the tree trunk and branches. It’s usually not a problem for trees that are otherwise healthy. The moth larvae is mainly an aesthetic pest, causing infected trees (Pines, Douglas Firs, and Spruces) to bleed sap where the larvae are feeding, resulting in masses of pitch that are exuded by the tree.
If you’re worried about it becoming a problem, remove the masses of pitch and associated larva by hand and limit pruning to October through March which is when egg laying females are inactive. The females are attracted to and lay eggs near injury sites, so make proper pruning cuts that will heal over.
For more information see UC Davis
The fate of the larva pictured? A snack for my chickens!