Tree pests are the worst. Your beautiful, lush trees may fall victim to some of these homicidal insects. Here are five of the most common. Stay vigilant, and protect your trees from these ruthless killers.
Aphids are sap-suckers, similar to scale insects. They eat your trees’ sap and leave behind honeydew, which is a sticky syrup. Look at the undersides of your leaves to check for aphids. You can also check for a dark mold that looks like soot – this mold is drawn to the sticky honeydew. If left to thrive, aphids can make your leaves curl up and turn yellow. They can also prevent the growth of new leaves, or make those leaves be stunted.
Bark beetles are wood boring insects, much like the Emerald Ash Borer (EAD). Wood boring insects can strike conifers and hardwoods alike. The beetles eat the leaves of these trees, but it isn’t the leaf-eating that hurts these trees. It’s the spores that the beetles transmit as they go from tree to tree – these spores spread a number of fatal diseases. If you have a conifer and you see reddish-brown needles at the tree’s top spreading downward, this could indicate bark beetles. For hardwoods, you might see little blobs on the outside of the bark – these may resemble tubes, and be white or brown.
Eastern Ten Caterpillars
These defoliate. They show up just as trees start budding, in the early spring. They eat sugar maples, aspens, oaks, and other hardwoods. If you see big silken tents or stripped leaves, this might indicate the presence of these caterpillars.