An insect pest infestation can make your once-beautiful tree look like something that belongs in an old horror movie, and that’s exactly why Integrated Pest Management is so important. While the type of insect pests that could infect your tree will vary by tree type and area, here are a few common critters to look out for.
Just a little smaller than your average housefly, the adult apple maggot has transparent wings with noticeable black bands in a “W” shape across them. The white larvae tunnels right through the flesh of fruits from the affected tree. These pests can produce one or two generations a year and are usually in large groups, enabling them to reduce your apple tree to a pulpy mess quickly. While clearly known for attacking apple trees, apple maggots will infest hawthorn, cherry, pear, plum and apricot trees too.
Also referred to as “jumping plant lice”, the adult psyllid is around 1/10 of an inch long and has transparent wings and a reddish-brown body. There are over 100 species of this pest in North America, and they feed on a wide variety of plants, including nearly all fruit trees. Generations per year range from one to five, depending on the species. The adults and their young feed by piercing a leaf surface and extracting sap from its cells. Their feeding will make the tree’s foliage turn yellow, curl and then die. The honeydew secreted by these insect pests encourage dark, sooty mold growth, and many species can transit viruses that carry tree diseases.
The pecan weevil
A late season insect pest that attacks hickory and pecan trees, the pecan weevil destroys nuts from the tree in two ways. Adult weevils puncture shells to feed, and female weevils lay eggs inside the nuts that often go undetected because those infected nuts do not fall off the tree. These weevils have the appearance of a beetle, averaging 3/8 of an inch long with reddish-brown bodies, and produce a generation every two to three years.
Early pest detection and comprehensive solutions can mean the difference between healthy trees and a yard full of decaying ones. If you think you have a tree pest issue, contact your local Certified Arborist for help.
Live in the Greater Tampa Bay area? Contact the tree insect pest management experts at Tree Medics today by calling (813) 407-9974. Our Certified Arborist is highly trained in diagnosing and treating varying insect pests issues found in your trees, shrubs, and surrounding landscape.
Attribution:“apple maggot – Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh)” By Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org – http://www.insectimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5402797, CC BY 3.0, Link