Many of us take trees and the benefits they provide humans for granted. Trees offer food in the form of fruit, they shelter us from storms, they provide us with building materials and even help clean the air. Trees are also home to all sorts of creatures including animals and insects. Most of the time, all goes pretty well in the relationship between animals, insects and trees, but not always. On some occasions, there are problems with insect damage to trees. These issues can spell disaster for both trees and homeowners. Certain insects and pests can damage trees in a variety of ways. Let’s examine which insects and pests you need to guard against.
Moths Love Fir Trees
Nature is diverse, and it should come as no great surprise that the list of crawly critters that can harm trees is quite diverse. The Douglas-fir tussock moth attacks Douglas-fir trees all across Western North America. You can expect to find these moths attacking from British Columbia, through Washington and Oregon all the way down to New Mexico. The larvae feed on trees and particularly favor beautiful Douglas-firs.
Beetles Stress Out Trees
Not to be outdone, the Douglas-fir beetle also does extensive damage to Douglas-fir trees; however, there is a difference. Whereas the Douglas-fir tussock moth is a defoliator, the Douglas-fir beetle damages the wood of trees. The Douglas-fir beetle is known to attack weakened, stressed or declining trees.
The Notorious East Coast Gypsy Moths
In the Eastern U.S., the name gypsy moth is very well known. The gypsy moth may be beautiful to look at, but it is quite bad for trees. They are powerful defoliators who are responsible for destroying millions of acres of trees across the country.
The gypsy moth is known for its ability to defoliate broad leaf as well as conifer trees. Defoliation is an issue, as it reduces the vitality of trees. Unfortunately, gypsy moths are very good at what they do.
White Pine Weevils Enjoy a Varied Diet
Also found in the Eastern part of the United States, is the very busy pales weevil. This industrious weevil attacks over 20 different kinds of trees and, as the name indicates, it is a serious pest for the white pine. This diversity is, of course, great for the white pine weevil since it will inevitably have a lot of different meal options. But this is bad news for trees. Weevils often spell bad news for crops too, as they can damage everything from grain to cotton.
Unexpected Pests that Can Harm Trees
Trees don’t just have to watch out for insects. Even birds can get in on the action. Birds have been known to damage maple and other trees. Squirrels can damage trees and fruit trees and rodents can also cause serious damage. Sadly, the natural world is pretty rough on trees in a variety of ways. Animals, moths, weevils and beetles are just some of the pests that can damage the trees we all depend upon.
The good news is that you can make a difference for the trees on your own land or property. By periodically examining your trees for problems or damage, you can help preserve them. Another step is to have a pest control expert check your trees for any kind of damage or infestation. Hopefully, you can address the insect damage to trees on your property before it’s too late.