You might think that the bitterly cold and harsh winter would affect the insect population in our area. Yet, it appears the cold winter did not affect insect populations at all. We are actually seeing increases in insect activity.
What to look for? Many insect problems result in sap dripping from your trees. If your car windshield, deck, patio furniture or kids toys are sticky, you have insect problems. If you see shiny spots of sap on leaves on the lower portions of a tree, or even if your grass feels sticky as you walk on it, you have an insect problem which can be quickly and easily rectified. A few examples include:
Locust Plant Bugs. If you have a locust tree, and the younger leaves at the ends of the branches are curling and browning slightly, you have Locust Plant Bugs. When you sit on your deck or patio on breezy days and your head is itching, you might see tiny, bright green bugs on your arm. Those are Locust Plant Bugs.
The Locust on the left is under our care. The locust on the right is not.
Magnolia Scale Pods on Magnolia, Cottony Maple Scale Pods on Maples and Lecanium Scale Pods. These different pods all contain insects that are protected within the pods. These insects have one thing in common; they suck the sap from the tree, weakening it, and their bodies excrete a sticky honeydew which drips from the pods, causing sap drippage. Later, when the insects emerge from the pods, they excrete the same sticky honeydew from their bodies.
This photo shows Lecanium Scale pods on a Crab tree. They appear to be tiny bumps on the branch that looks like lady bugs.
Examples of other Scale pods can be viewed here. These are just a few examples of what you might notice on your property this year and in years to come. Treating trees for these problems can be extremely effective, but only when using the most effective insecticides along with proper timing. Spraying too early, before the insects emerge from the pods, will have no effect on them.
Tree Green wants to work with you to assure the health of your trees. Please call our office at 630.668.4350 or email us if you notice an insect problem or other situation affecting the health of your trees. A Tree Green Arborist will be out to explain what is going on.