Keeping your trees bug free
Here in Texas, spring is about to spring in just a few weeks and those pesky insects will be back and as active as ever. Insects like trees, so, what does that mean to homeowners? It means it is time to get your insect treatment prepared and going!
If you’re not familiar with lawn care and maintenance, or which insects are harmless and what insects harm trees, keep reading and we’ll see if we can help. If you are a longtime homeowner and have an insect treatment that is tried and true for you, keep reading anyway. There may be some information that can help you have better results.
So, first of all, why do insects live in trees and do all insects live in trees?
Well, most insects climb trees and once they are there, they often decide to set up housekeeping there. Why? Because trees have nourishment and nutrients a bug needs, and they provide shelter for them as well. For example, not all insects love all trees though, some insects, like mosquitoes and biting insects favor pine trees. But a pine tree isn’t necessarily a magnet for all bugs.
So, what kind of tree should you avoid? As we already mentioned, pine trees attract bugs, but not all pine trees do, and since it can be difficult knowing which bugs are attracted to a pine tree, go with a dwarf variety of pine tree. It will be easier to take care of for insect treatment and minimize the bug attraction. Other trees to avoid or choose a dwarf variety would be:
- Cottonwood Trees: A bug magnet! A beautiful flowering tree, but bugs love living in them as much as we love looking at them and enjoying the aroma they emit.
- Fruit Trees: Notoriously draw insects, and most homeowners that choose fruit trees will quickly regret that decision. The insect treatment will vary based on the type of fruit and the type of insects they attract.
- Mulberry Trees: Perhaps one of the most notorious for troublesome insects. An attractive and beautiful tree to look at and can add so much curb appeal but be prepared for flying insects. Your insect treatment will include a lot of swatting!
What causes holes in tree leaves?
Some insect eating trees can do more than just leave holes, it can actually kill them, and sometime faster than you can get the garden hose unwound. Before you start applying an insect treatment though, you want to make sure it is hungry insects chewing those holes and not something else. Other issues that can leave holes the leaves are:
- Disease: There are fungal diseases that “melt” holes in the leaves, referred to as shot gun holes because of the patterns left behind.
- Chemicals: You have good intentions when you spray your garden and lawn, but on a windy day, those chemicals are getting on unintended surfaces like your trees. That herbicide drift can cause chemical burns, peppering your tree’s leaves with holes. This can be long-term damage depending on how much and how often you applied that chemical treatment to your garden and lawn. Occasionally, this can also lead to secondary damage from disease or insects because the chemical treatment has weakened the tree and attracted these unwanted issues.
How can Insects negatively affect trees?
Insects have a direct impact on the production of agricultural food with the following actions:
- Sucking juice from the plants.
- Boring holes within the leaves, roots, or stems.
- Spreading plant pathogens.
- Feeding on the natural fibers.
- Destroying wood used for building material.
- Ruin stored grain.
- Accelerate decaying process.
Other types of damage that has been observed with trees from diseases and insects include:
- Branch dieback.
- Cankers on branches and stems.
- Shorten Tree lifespan.
- Growth loss.
- Decreased tree diameter and height.
How do I keep bugs from eating my tree leaves?
What to spray on trees for bugs?
Chewed, notched, and ragged leaves are telling you that you have leaf-eating insects enjoying a buffet of your trees. While a healthy tree can generally withstand an infestation and suffer any serious damage. However a large infestations could require some form of insect treatment like an insecticide spray.
For leaf eating insect treatment of beetles, caterpillars, sawflies, worms and other insect larvae attacking species, you can handpick most of them off and destroy them, but that isn’t the most feasible and logical method. However, a chemical insect treatment isn’t always the best method either.
There are to pesticides for insect treatment that can control those leaf eating bugs. An oil spray and an insecticidal soap. The oil is made from a refined petroleum oil, like Jojoba oil or neem oil, which is plant-based. Or insecticidal soap is a quick insect treatment that easily breaks down killing insects without leaving any harmful residue.
Before applying a chemical insect treatment to any tree, consider attracting predators that eat leaf-eating insects as a natural insect treatment instead. Minimizing the use of harsh chemicals is always better for the environment and could be a money saver for you! Need help with insects in your trees in Fort Worth, TX? Call 817-882-6499 today!