As we prepare our yards for the summer ahead we are constantly on the lookout for weeds and lawn pests. However, one area we often overlook is our trees and shrubs. There are a number of tree damaging pests that feed on our beautiful trees and if too many of them are present it could cause a problem for the health of the plant. Here is a list of some of the worst tree pests in Texas.
Aphids can cause a lot of damage in large numbers to many different species of trees and shrubs. These sap-sucking insects are tiny but don’t let that fool you. Their feeding can disrupt the tissues of young plants and trees which can stunt or damage it. As they eat, they excrete a waste product called honeydew. Honey is a sweet substance that is enjoyed by ants, wasps, and sooty mold which can cause your trees and anything underneath it, to become covered in grey-black mold. A great natural way to control aphids is by introducing predators such as ladybugs.
Those tiny growths on your tree might not even be growths at all. They might be tree scale, a type of strange insect that has lost its legs and now has become a permanent fixture on the tree. These bugs are so well disguised that large infestations can go completely unnoticed.
There are two main types of tree scale: hard-shelled or armored and soft scales. Both species use their piercing mouthparts to suck sap from trees. Their feeding disrupts the growth of the tree and can cause leaves to yellow and drop. Soft scale insects also secrete honeydew like aphids.
Tent caterpillars are named for the way they create “tents” or webs in the branches of trees in the summer. This nest houses the young caterpillars and protects them from the elements and predators. The caterpillars feed on the foliage of the tree and can cause the host branch to become stunted or kill it completely. The best way to get rid of them is to prune the branch and destroy the nest.
The emerald ash borer has been making its way to Texas ever since it was first discovered in the United States back in 2002. It wasn’t until 2016 that the first cases of emerald ash borer was reported in Texas. The beetle is a small but powerful pest and an enemy of ash trees. Adult beetles feed on ash leaves and deposit eggs on the bark of their hosts. When the eggs hatch the larvae penetrate the bark and begin to feed on water conducting tissues inside the tree. This disrupts the way the tree produces sap and slowly kills it. A mature ash tree can succumb within 2-3 years and can kill an entire forest of ash trees within 10 years.
At Lawn Lab we care about your trees as much as you do. With our tree and shrub program you will receive a 7-step treatment that includes deep root fertilization and dormant oil applications to protect it from pests.
A great way to compliment your trees is with an amazing looking lawn. At Lawn Lab we have decades of experience working with Texas lawns. Our lawn care program is guaranteed to turn your yard into a work of art.
Secure your lawn care program today by calling us at (972) 287-7400. You could also easily request a free quote here. Check out our blog for monthly tips on lawn care, tree care, and pest control and make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest LawnLab deals and news.