6 Oct

Which Bugs Are Dangerous to the Health of My Trees


Bugs have for a long time destroyed our beautiful lawns, trees and shrubs. They view your serene tree plantation as a buffet where they feat to their fill. In the tree garden, there are different types of bugs. There are those which crawl, those that fly and lastly those that stay on the ground. Even though most bugs have a bad tale, there are some which have proved to be useful to the farmer. These are the ladybugs, the praying mantis which both attack harmful insects which destroy crops. The Bees help pollinate flowers and trees from time to time hence they are important.


These types of bugs are divided into three categories. These include:- the Burrowing bugs, The Sucking Juice bugs and lastly, the Defoliating bugs. The tree farmer should look for them and eradicate them before they kill the trees.

A) The Burrowing Bugs - These are the most harmful type of bugs. They damage the tree by creating channels and tunnels inside the stems, branches and roots. They do this as they lay eggs that later hatch into larvae. These larvae blocks flow of water and nutrients thus hindering the tree from optimum growth. They include:-

Emerald Ash bug
Their larvae burrow in the bark of trees for a long time and hide there as they grow. They later emerge at a later date as full-grown green adults. The infested tree die after two years.

Elm bark beetle
They bore tunnels in the bark of the tree and remain in the tunnels over the winter season. They lay eggs and feed on the bark paving their way on the branches of the tree.

B) The Defoliating Bugs - As the name suggests, these type of bugs destroy the trees by damaging their leaves depriving them of their ability to photosynthesize. More-so, by destroying the leaves the trees are left bare hence are more prone to attacks by other insects and diseases. These bugs include:-

Eastern Tent Caterpillar
It is a hairy type of insect that is disastrous to deciduous trees example maple tree, poplar and willows. The insects form nests on the tree causing rapid defoliation due to their rapid spread on the tree. They emerge during summer and spring periods in their larvae stage.

They defoliate the evergreen and deciduous trees. They tend to migrate from plant to plant while feeding on the plant leaves. They spread to a large area over a short period of time since they are blown by the wind from plant to plant. They cause a lot of damage especially when uncontrolled.

C) The Sucking Juice Bugs - This type of bugs use their mouthparts to suck sap depriving the tree and the tree-parts of water and other nutrients required for growth. These include:-

Boxelder bug
A sap-sucking insect from box elder tree and other trees example the maple and ash tree. It causes discoloration of leaves thus the tree lacks the ability to photosynthesize.

The bugs suck juice from the tree causing it to lose its turgidity thus weakening the tree. As the bugs feed it secretes honeydew which promotes mold formation that makes fruits unattractive and makes the tree lack the ability to photosynthesize. The honeydew also acts as an attractant to other pests.

Squash bug
Also referred as leaf-footed bugs. They reside on squashy trees. The bugs inject juices causing they growing tips of plant trees to dry, wither and die. They also cause discoloration of leaves.


Mulching of tree bases.
Pruning of trees.
Use of insecticides.
Hand picking especially for worms if they are not in large numbers.


Bugs are dangerous to the health of trees. Some bugs may be selective for some type of trees.


Archer Wrigley

Archer lives in Orange Country, California. A nature lover and passionate about helping people to go green.

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