This fall, be sure your trees are protected against pesky insects that are known to cause tree decline. Various species of tree are susceptible to such pests, making all properties vulnerable targets. Continue reading to learn which pests are the most common this time of year, as well as, what you can do to ensure your trees are safe.
❶ Oak Mites
Also known as “Biting Oak Mites”, these insects exclusively attack any Oak tree species, especially Pink Oaks. They like to feed on the larvae of other wood-boring insects, but they will also gladly attach themselves to a human host if they fall off the tree! They do not bite instantly, so be sure to fully bathe after being near an infested tree. Common signs of an Oak mite infestation include browning, crunchy leaves. Oak mites should be treated by a professional arborist. To prevent such infestations, be sure to stay on top of routine tree care all year long.
Webworms are a common fall tree pest because they like to use the bark as a nesting area. They spin massive, solid webs at the ends of connecting tree branches. And from inside their webbed nest, they feed on tree leaves. Spotting these well-developed webs is a tell-tale sign of a webworm outbreak. Other signs come in late summer in the form of premature leaf loss. The most common species targeted by webworms include black walnut, mulberry, sweetgum, pecan, persimmon, and wild cherry. To resolve a webworm infestation, manual removal of all webs must be performed before winter, followed by a Spring insecticide treatment.
❸ Spruce Spider Mites
Spruce spider mites like to feed on tree sap, like most other tree pests. Although these pests have “spruce” in their name, they do not just affect spruce trees exclusively. Spruce spider mites will also infest other species of conifers, such as hemlock, Arborvitae, fir, and juniper trees. Common signs of Spruce spider mites include needle loss, premature needle loss, yellow-spots on needles. Spruce spider mite infestations should be treated in fall when trees are heading toward dormancy.
Bagworms like to make silky webs on trees for shelter, and then they chew and eat all the leaves. This means that the most common sign of a bagworm outbreak is chewed leaves and needles. Both evergreen and deciduous tree species are prone to bagworm infestations, especially arborvitae, birch, cedar, elm, honeylocust, juniper, linden, maple, oak, poplar, and willow trees. To treat a bagworm infestation, all bags must be removed by hand and destroyed. Then you will need professional arborist counseling, as well as, routine tree service.