Insecticides can control the pest or small populations can be removed by hand and destroyed. They are sawfly larvae. It is found throughout the United States and has two generations per year in NC. Right now they are in the larval stage of their second generation. The dusky birch sawfly is an occasional pest of birch trees, particularly river birch. As its name suggests, the dusky birch sawfly feeds primarily on birch trees, most commonly river birch in North Carolina landscapes. Sawflies are stingless wasps whose larvae are plant feeders. The birch sawfly has only one generation per year. Thank you for reviewing this information. They LOOK like caterpillars to the uneducated eye but they are not. No intervention is required because the infestations are short-lived. In Quebec, infestations have been very localized and sporadic. The river birch “caterpillars” are not caterpillars at all. This species has at times caused serious defoliation of birch in Nova Scotia and in British Columbia. Action: The dusky birch sawfly’s primary host is River birch, but sometimes grey, black, red paper and yellow birch are also attacked. A sawfly is a primitive wasp-like insect.


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