Trees can transform your landscaping. They offer beautiful scenery, as well as privacy and shade. However, pests can harm your trees. If not tended to, pest-infested trees can become unsightly, sick, or even die. Here are the Florida tree pests that will harm your trees.
First up are tent caterpillars. This type of moth measures just over 2 inches in length. They range in color from gray to dark brown and have a white spots on their stomach. The soft, fur-like bristles that cover their body can also identify them. Even though they are called tent caterpillars, they don’t actually make tents. Instead, they make silky sheets during molting. These silk sheets wrap around tree branches and act as vessels for the deposit of hundreds of eggs in the tree. When these eggs hatch, the larvae can feed on the flowers, foliage, and leaves of a tree. Even though the caterpillars are not eating the tree itself, the defoliation of the tree can distress it enough to where it becomes vulnerable to disease and other pests. If a tree is already old or unhealthy, this can lead to death.
Up next are pine bark beetles. You can identify these pests by their cylindrical bodies, brown or black coloring, and small size (no more than 0.07 inches to 0.15 inches in length). Even though pine bark beetles are small, they can do a lot of damage in large groups. Adult female pine bark beetles land on weak trees and emits pheromones to attract mates. When the pheromones attract a swarm of beetles, the weak trees are overwhelmed and colonized. The beetles tunnel through the inner bark and lay eggs, which hatch, and the larvae feed on the bark. Eventually, a new generation emerges and the process is repeated until a tree can no longer supply bark because the plant tissue has been so heavily affected. Additionally, pine bark beetles carry blue-stain fungi, which block water flow to trees and kill them.
The third pest that can kill your Florida tree is the Asian Citrus Psyllid. This pest has a mottled brown body with a black head and secretes a waxy, white-ish, dusty substance. The Asian Citrus Psyllid lays eggs on growing plant tissue, which can prevent the plant tissue from growing any further. If growth is possible, the hatched larvae from the eggs nibble away at the leaves and buds and eventually cause notable damage. However, the larvae aren’t the biggest problem related to Asian Citrus Psyllid. The bacteria carried by these pests cause Huanglongbing or citrus greening. This bacteria infects the sap of tree leaves and prevents nutrients from traveling through the vascular system of a tree. Over time, this leads to nutrient deficiency and the death of a tree.
If you suspect your tree may be infested with any of these pests, get in touch with Lamb Tree Care right away. We can work to protect your tree from pests and extend its lifespan. Get in touch with us today at 941-377-3333