Common Tree Pests: How to Spot and Stop Them

Tree Pest Control | Fruit Tree Pest Control | Oak Tree Pests | Pine Tree Pests | Elm Tree Pests | Maple Tree Pests

With warmer temperatures come lush greenery, beautiful blossoms and unfortunately pesky pests. These leaf-eaters, sap-suckers and wood-borers can cause serious damage and even lead to the death of the trees in your yard. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of pest infestation and how to stay ahead of these tiny invaders.

Spongy Moth Damage | How to Get Rid of Spongy Moths | Spongy Moth Control | Spongy Moth Infestation | Tree Pest ControlSpongy Moth

As leaves emerge in the spring, these moths (formerly known as gypsy moths) leave masses of eggs, which hatch into hungry larvae. The moth’s larvae defoliate hardwood trees, especially oak, birch, elm and maple.

Look for yellowish, teardrop-shaped egg masses, which may contain up to 500 eggs, and can usually be found on tree trunks in the spring. Damage can range from leaf damage to complete defoliation.

How to Prevent Spongy Moths

Spruce Budworms | Spruce Budworm Damage | How to Get Rid of Spruce Budworm | Spruce Budworm Control | Tree Pest ControlSpruce Budworm

Spruce budworms multiply in large numbers and the larvae have the potential to defoliate an entire tree.

Host trees include white spruce, black spruce and balsam fir. The larvae usually hide in the crown’s interior during winter and emerge in May to feed on unopened buds, old needles, or male flowers. They turn into adults by early July.

Adult budworms have a dull gray color with brown spots and bands around the body. The larvae are cylindrical and long.

How to Prevent Spruce Budworm

Emerald Ash Borer Tree Damage | Signs of Emerald Ash Borer | Emerald Ash Borer Symptoms | How to Prevent Emerald Ash Borer | Tree Pest ControlEmerald Ash Borer

Adult borers are very small and difficult to spot, but trees infested with the emerald ash borer will have S-shaped feeding galleries packed with sawdust. When the adult borers emerge out of the tree, you will see D-shaped holes in the bark. These borers feed on vascular tissues between the sapwood and tree bark. This interrupts the flow of water and nutrients through the tree causing slow degeneration.

Ash trees with crown dieback from the top down and yellowing foliage are typical targets for the emerald ash borer.

How to Prevent Emerald Ash Borer

Weevil Damage | Root Weevil Damage | Tree Weevil | How to Prevent Weevils | Tree Pest ControlWeevils

Weevils are practically invisible to the naked eye. Unlike other borers that make tunnels or galleries in the wood, weevils dig hollow cells or cavities underneath the tree’s bark. They prefer moist, warm environments, typically targeting the bases of woody trees and shrubs like azalea, strawberry, holly, grape, and rhododendron.They can also lay eggs in rolled up, new leaves.

If you have weevils, you may notice the leaves on your tree will appear notched or scalloped. A severe infestation can even completely consume the leaves and only leave behind the main vein.

How to Prevent Weevils

Aphids on Trees | Aphid Treatment for Trees | How to Get Rid of Aphids on Trees | Aphid Infestation on Tree | Tree Pest ControlAphids

Aphids eat away at the sap in tree leaves and stems, leaving behind a sticky syrup called honeydew. Large infestations can stunt new leaf growth and cause misshapen, curling or yellow leaves. You can spot an aphid infestation by checking the underside of leaves, or checking for sooty mold, which is often attracted to honeydew.

They mainly attack fruit trees, willows, pines, maples, oaks, poplars, etc.

How to Prevent Aphids

Whitefly Damage | Whitefly Damage Symptoms | How to Get Rid of Whiteflies on Trees | Whiteflies Treatment | Tree Pest ControlWhiteflies

Whiteflies, also known as snow flies, are tiny insects that feed on the undersides of leaves. Whitefly larva look like a scale insect with a flattened oval shape, while fully mature insects resemble small moths.

These pests excrete a sticky substance called honeydew that causes sooty mold to develop. They are also known to transfer plant viruses, which is how they pose a significant danger to your trees. Broadleaf trees and shrubs, including citrus, Bradford pear, ash, and flowering fruit trees are common hosts for whiteflies.

How to Prevent Whiteflies

Spotted Lanternfly Tree Damage | Spotted Lanternfly Damage to Trees | Spotted Lanternfly Control | How to Control Spotted Lanternfly | Tree Pest ControlSpotted Lanternfly

Spotted lanternflies (SLF) can take on many forms. Nymphs or newly hatched SLF, are black with white spots and turn red before transitioning into adults. The black nymphs can be seen as early as April and until July. Red nymphs can be seen from July until September.

Adults begin to appear in July and are approximately 1 inch long and ½ inch wide at rest, with eye-catching wings. Their forewings are grayish with black spots. The lower portions of their hindwings are red with black spots and the upper portions are dark with a white stripe.

In the fall, adults lay 1-inch-long egg masses on nearly anything from tree trunks and rocks to vehicles and firewood. Signs of infestation include sap oozing from tiny open wounds on tree trunks, which appear wet and may give off fermented odors.

How to Prevent Spotted Lanternfly

How Eaton Brothers Can Help

We offer a number of products that can help in preventing pests in your yard, including: