If the leaves on your cherry laurel are eaten, you need to take a closer look. There are various pitting pests that can be responsible for the damage. This text tells you what they are.

4 Pitting Pests

Dickmaulrüssler (Otiorhynchus)

damage picture

  • Cherry laurel leaves are only eaten by adult vine weevils
  • active from April to mid-October
  • clear bay damage visible
  • starts at the edge
  • irregular distribution
  • Leaves may lighten
  • Larvae eat roots

Identify vine weevils

  • reach sizes from 3 to 14 mm (species dependent)
  • dark brown to black in color, more rarely yellow
  • visible proboscis
  • grooved back
  • rarely hairy


  • collect bugs
  • possible in the evening or at night
  • stretch light tarpaulin under cherry laurel
  • Search for vine weevils with a flashlight
  • collect or knock in tarpaulin
  • alternatively, fill the flower pot with wood shavings
  • Place the flower pot under the plant
  • serves as a refuge for beetles
  • empty the flower pot in the morning and dispose of the beetles
Note: If the laurel cherry suddenly weakens at the beginning of autumn, you must expect an infestation by the larvae of the vine weevil, which eat at the roots. The use of nematodes, which make short work of the pests, helps against the larvae.

Fruit tree leaf miner (Lyonetia clerkella)

damage picture

  • Moth larvae attack cherry laurel
  • feed inside the leaf after hatching
  • characteristic feeding tunnels (mines) develop
  • Feeding tunnels are light, thin and run through the entire leaf
  • Affected foliage weakens, dries up and brightens considerably

Recognize fruit tree leaf miner

  • 5mm long
  • green body, brown head divided into clearly recognizable segments
  • Eggs are placed through small holes in leaves
  • after 20 to 25 days, 3 to 5 mm large pupae form
  • colored light green
  • hang on the underside of the leaf
  • The moths fly and lay their eggs from April to November
  • several generations possible


  • to fight pupae thoroughly collect
  • Remove affected bay cherry leaves

Sloe brush moth (Orgyia antiqua)

damage picture

  • Caterpillars feed on leaves
  • pitting clearly visible
  • starts from the edge, uneven

Identify sloe brush moths

  • found from May to the end of August
  • reach lengths of 30 mm
  • provided with stinging hairs and tufts of different colors
  • colored gray with red-black patterns
  • red dot warts on each segment
  • 4th to 7th body segment with a large tuft of hair in yellow to brown colour


  • collect to control caterpillars
  • are easily recognizable during the day

Sponge spinner (Lymantria dispar)

damage picture

  • Larvae eat holes in the leaves
  • Pitting irregular, starting from the edge
  • entire leaf is consumed
  • complete defoliation possible in the event of severe infestation

Identify gypsy moths

  • rarely occurs on laurel cherries
  • found from April to September
  • Caterpillars 40 to 80 mm long, with fine stinging hairs
  • colored gray to grey-yellow
  • red and blue warts visible on the back


  • collect caterpillars
  • Remove spongy clutches in winter
  • hibernate on the bark of trees
  • rub off with a brush
  • dispose of thoroughly or incinerate

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