4 Pests That Can Harm Your Trees In California
When people hear the word “pests”, most think of it as an indoor problem. But you will be surprised to know that pests affect your home’s exteriors, too. Especially trees, in particular, are most harmed when infested with these insects. They chew the tree’s bark, eat and spoil the leaves and destroy its vascular tissue.
Today we will give you a heads-up about five types of such insects found in California:
#1 Invasive Spotted Lanternfly
When a non-native pest steps into a new environment, the results can be devastating. The same is the case with Invasive Spotted Lanternfly (SLF). People spotted it for the first time in Pennsylvania in the year 2014. It is now marking its presence firmly with a vast increase in its range and extensive feeding damage on trees and plants. They are now actively seen in New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Sacramento, and also Connecticut.
One can easily identify this pest by observing the spots on its wings and its hindwings’ crimson color. Even though it’s called a lanternfly, this insect is actually a planthopper, not a fly. However, these pests can hop farther and high as compared to other pests of the same species. These may seem beautiful but are deadly for trees. They use their needle-shaped part of the mouth, called a stylet, to feed on trees. While they feed, they excrete a gummy matter known as honeydew. This material promotes the growth of a fungal disease called sooty mold. Honeydew attracts other pests.
SLF mostly feeds in massive groups and breeds in significant numbers. So, one can easily notice them gathering at the base of a tree. Their most preferred prey is the Ailanthus Altissima. But these planthoppers are not just limited to these trees. They also attack other species, including pine, red oak, maple, willow, hickory, walnut, and many more.
Note: If a tree in your garden is damaged due to SLF, don’t try to chop or remove it yourself. Take assistance from a licensed and insured tree removal Sacramento.
#2 Asian Citrus Psyllid Bugs
Asian Citrus Psyllids are tiny bugs that originated from southeast Asia. That’s why they have Asia in their name. They entered the United States in 1998 and were first noticed in California in 2008.
These bugs are about 4 mm long and have brown or black color heads and brown color bodies. Also, they have dark brown spots on the whole body and black color on the tips. These pests lay eggs in asymmetry on the fresh citrus leaves. After the larvae hatch out of the eggs, they feed on the leaves.
Clearly, these bugs damage the citrus trees the most, including a wide range of grapefruit and orange trees. One can judge the infestation of these pests by observing the leaves and fruits. Leaves, when infested by these bugs, get pale green blotches. The fruits are left undeveloped and small in size. Also, you will notice that the twig dieback.
Sad to say that most of the infected trees and plants by these pests won’t survive more than five years. The only ray of hope is to use insecticides on trees on a regular and thorough basis. It may prevent infestation.
#3 Cypress Tipminer Pests
These are a species of moths that lay their eggs on the cypress leaves. After a little while, the eggs become caterpillars and consume the tips of the leaves. That’s why these have “cypress” and “tip miners” in their name. These caterpillars are yellow-green and mostly ¼ inch in length. Their head part is a little darker than the body. As they age, they start to appear silver brown and become ⅓ inch wide.
Their infestation symptoms are browning of new leaf tips, chew marks on twigs and leaves, and leafage dieback. Their infest is most often noticed in early spring or late winters. Fortunately, insecticide sprays are proven to be very useful in dealing with these pests. In case the damage is massive, inject a systemic insecticide into the tree.
The injected solution will go through the leaves and will eliminate any insect that feeds on the leaves. However, if the damage is intense, then get in touch with a tree removal service provider. You can find them online by searching “tree removal (your locality)”. Like, if you are living in Sacramento, search “insured tree removal Sacramento” on Google.
#4 Worms of Oak Trees
The Oak worms originate from tussock moths in the form of larvae. Their favorite prey is Oak trees, of which they chew most of the leaves. Without leaves, the trees fail to process photosynthesis. As a result, they can’t make their food from sunlight and eventually die. The length of these worms ranges from 0.1 to 1.0 inches normally.
They have a yellowish-green body with brown color heads. These worms are distinguished from other similar species because of darker stripes along their sides. The primary symptom of oak worm infestation is densely chewed leaves that turn brown and fall. Also, at the base of the host tree, you will notice the scattering of these bug’s fecal pellets.
As one can notice, California is home to various pests that are harmful to a wide range of trees and plants. If you notice any such pests around your property, report them to local authorities ASAP. And if the tree is very much damaged, then contact a licensed and insured tree removal Sacramento.
Let’s make our mother earth greener than ever!