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The laurel cherry is one of the most popular hedge plants. The evergreen plant with the creamy-white flowers quickly forms dense hedges. However, cherry laurel is often attacked by pests. How can you recognize them and combat them effectively?

In a nutshell

  • Cherry laurel susceptible to pests
  • should be checked regularly for pest infestation
  • the earlier pest control begins, the more lasting the success
  • Cherry laurel pests also attack neighboring plants
  • Damage pattern provides information about the cause and countermeasures to be taken

Fleas (Psylloidea)

Fleas are a subspecies of plant lice. Some species suck on the young shoots of the laurel cherry and feed on their sap. As with all plant lice, sticky excretions are part of the pattern of damage.

Identify leaf fleas

Source: Janos Bodor, Trioza alacris, Edited by Plantopedia, CC0 1.0
  • one to four millimeters in size
  • can jump far
  • strong body
  • three point eyes
  • Wings and body transparent

damage picture

  • Deformities and discoloration of the leaves
  • some species cause plant galls
  • sticky coating on leaves
  • death of plant parts
  • yellow-green larvae


  • Remove shoots with visible infestation
  • Spray the plant with soapy water

Aphids (Aphidoidea)

Aphids belong to the plant lice. They feed on the sap of plants and are found on many plant species. The cherry laurel bush can also be massively damaged by the small pest.

identify aphids

Black Aphids
  • one to four millimeters in size
  • mostly wingless
  • green, brown or black coloring
  • feed on the sap of plants
  • excrete sweet, sticky honeydew
  • multiply en masse

damage picture

  • ruffled, curled leaves
  • yellow spots
  • Settlement of sooty mold fungi
  • numerous aphids on leaf undersides


  1. Spray the cherry laurel leaves with a strong jet of water.
  2. Water the bush with nettle broth.
  3. Spray the leaves with soapy water.
  4. Repeat these operations as needed.

Vine weevil (Otiorhynchus)

The nocturnal vine weevil is considered the most dangerous pest on the cherry laurel bush.

recognize bugs

Lined vine weevil (left), its larva (right)
  • ten to fourteen millimeters long
  • black or brown coloring
  • Back hairless and ridged
  • strong trunk
  • unable to fly

Notice: Vine weevils are nocturnal. They can only be observed in the evening hours.

identify larvae

  • yellowish white with brown head
  • about ten millimeters long
  • no legs

damage picture

  • clear holes at the sheet edges
  • Yellowing of damaged leaves

Notice: Not only the adult beetles, but also the larvae of the vine weevil can damage the laurel cherry. They eat the roots, which affects the water intake of the plant. The inadequate supply leads to the death of the ornamental tree.


  1. Collect the beetles in the evening hours.
  2. Spread a white sheet under the bush. Shake the bush. The bugs fall down. Destroy the bugs.
  3. Fill flower pots with wood shavings. Place these upside down under the infested shrub. The beetles use the pots as shelter. Destroy the bugs in the morning.
  4. Fight the larvae with nematodes. The nematodes penetrate the larvae and destroy them.

Leaf miners (Gracillariidae)

Every now and then, leaf miners cause damage to the laurel cherry. The pests eat the leaves, impair photosynthesis and weaken the plant. A leaf miner infestation produces a clear picture of damage.

Identify miner moths

  • one to four millimeters in size
  • transparent wings
  • black or brown patches on upper body

damage picture

Damage by the snake leaf miner (Lyonetia clerkella), which also infests the laurel cherry, on the leaf of the bird cherry (Prunus padus)
  • yellow, later brown foliage colour
  • falling of the leaves
  • Oviposition on the underside of leaves
  • after three weeks formation of cocoons hanging down from leaves


  • remove cocoons
  • Destroy infested leaves in the residual waste or in the compost bin

Sloe brush moth (Orgyia antiqua)

The caterpillars of the blackthorn brush moth feed on the leaves of various fruit and ornamental trees. If damage occurs to the laurel cherry, the voracious caterpillars may be behind it.

Identify sloe brush moths

The caterpillar of the sloe brush moth (Orgyia antiqua) is very easy to spot due to its striking appearance.
  • very hairy caterpillars with four brush tufts on the back
  • male moths brown, female moths grey

damage picture

  • Feeding spots on leaves and buds


  • collecting the caterpillars

Attention: The fine hairs of the brush moth caterpillars can irritate the skin. Therefore, wear gloves when collecting.

Scale insects (Coccoidea)

Scale insects are among the most common pests on woody plants. They don't stop at the laurel cherry either. Like aphids, they feed on plant sap and prevent the plants from being supplied with nutrients.

identify scale insects

Scale insect infestation on sclerophyllous plant
  • two to six millimeters in size
  • black
  • shield at the top

damage picture

  • sticky coating on the leaves
  • Settlement of sooty mold fungi
  • fall of the leaves
  • growth disorders
  • black scale insects on undersides of leaves


  • Wipe away scale insects with a soft cloth or rag
  • Spray leaves and undersides of leaves with neem oil or canola oil
  • Pour the cherry laurel with nettle broth

frequently asked Questions

How can you better protect cherry laurel from infestation with pests?

A natural garden is the best way to prevent pest infestation. Where birds, small animals and insects feel at home, vine weevils and the like have no chance. Create shelters for beneficial insects, do without chemicals and prefer native plants for your garden.

How can parts of the cherry laurel plant infested by pests be safely disposed of?

Plant parts that are diseased or infested with pests do not belong in the compost. They can be safely disposed of in the residual waste or in the organic waste bin. In contrast to the compost heap, professional composting plants work with such high temperatures when recycling organic waste that the pests cannot survive.

Which beneficial insects prevent pest infestation on the cherry laurel bush?

Ladybugs and parasitic wasps can contain the infestation because they prefer to eat aphids, scale insects and fleas. Vine weevils and brush moth caterpillars are on the menu for birds and hedgehogs. Bats help fight leaf miners.

Are ants considered pests on cherry laurel?

Ants are not typical cherry laurel pests. However, they are attracted to honeydew, the sweet, sticky droppings of aphids, scale insects and psyllids.

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