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Arborist Corner

Pests/Insects: Aphids, Borers & Beatles, Scale

Bugs in your trees? Some insects are beneficial but others will destroy the beauty of your landscape if you don’t care for your trees properly. It is important to distinguish the good bugs from the bad ones.

Here the Natural Arbor Care arborist lists some common pests that can attack your trees and shrubs:

Aphids: This pest can occur in large numbers on new shoots in the rainy season. Aphids suck sap from young shoots and cause damage to these developing shoots. You will often see large numbers of small black aphids (2 to 3 mm long) concentrated on new growth, often associated with black, sooty mold.

Azalea Lace Bugs
With wings that look like they are made of lace, azalea lace bugs might seem harmless. In large populations, azalea lace bugs, which stick to the undersides of the leaves and suck the “green” out of the leaf, can weaken azaleas and rhododendrons. But with some extra care and attention, you can help save your plants from unsightly leaf damage.

Beetles – These insects are known for having two sets of wings—the top wing is like a hard shell that protects the second set of wings. Beetles make up 40 % of described insect species. Some beetles are beneficial like lady bugs or lady beetles. Others do damage to shrubs and trees. A good description of tree damaging beetles is located in this Home Guide about Tree Killing Beetles by Mollie Allman.

Boxelder Bug – This is a nuisance pest that feeds on leaves flowers and seed pods of the box elder tree (Acer negundo). The bugs do little damage to ornamental trees but can become a problem when they come indoors. If the bug has become a problem for the homeowner or in a commercial orchard, removing the seed-pod-producing box elder trees is the most effective way to control this pest.

Scales – Sucking insects that can affect the bark, fruit, or leaves, mostly on trees and shrubs and other perennial plants. Some scales can seriously damage the plant, while other species do no apparent damage to plants even when scales are a lot of them. The presence of scales can be easily overlooked, in part because they do not resemble most other insects.

White Flies – Whiteflies are tiny insects; their wings and bodies are covered in white wax. They can be found on the underside of leaves. They can be difficult to get rid of. Natural Arbor Care can suggest a number of biological controls that can help.

Have you noticed insects affecting your trees? Click or call us for a Free Consultation: San Jose (408) 654-9806, Peninsula (650) 477-8995, Bay Area (415) 515-9907.

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