Your yard is the home to many, many types of bugs and insects – some are fascinating to watch, some are new to the Texas area, and some give you the creeps. While it’s great to be one with nature and share your outdoor habitat with some fellow critters, it is important to know which ones are actually causing harm to your trees and shrubs and need to be…. dealt with.
At Gecko Green, our pest control services can take care of those irritants for you, but here are a few common pests to keep your eye out for so you know when to call.
Tree & Shrub Insects to Look Out For in North Texas
Pretty easy to spot because of their unusual shape, bagworms hang from trees in a “bag” spun from silk and pieces of the tree’s foliage. By rapidly feeding on the foliage and using it to spin their home, bagworms can harm trees and drain it of nutrients.
These cocoons are what do the most damage when they wait out the winter in this stage, so it’s important to catch them early. Once hatched, the adults look like hairy black moths.
Emerald Ash Borers
These somewhat beautiful, neon shiny green pests are newcomers to the Texas scene (since 2016) these aren’t exactly welcome guests. They feed, bore and infect the ash tree, sometimes to the point of no return – and are now officially in Tarrant County.
If not caught at an early enough infection stage, the tree should be removed to prevent a further spread.
Don’t be fooled by these tiny yellowish insects – they can cause a lot of damage in a little amount of time. Once spring hits, these are some of the first out of the gates, attacking young shoots and plants that are easy to digest, and the ones that are most vulnerable.
They also produce a waste that can stick to other plants, lawn care items, cars and windows, eventually turning into an ugly black mold. These pests should be dealt with ASAP: not only do they work fast eating up your young plants, but they can also produce at an alarmingly rapid rate.
Despite these tiny cousins of spiders being bright yellow or red, they are actually very hard to spot because of how tiny they are – and tend to hide on the underside of leaves. The main way spider mites are spotted are because of their damage.
They can eat away at leaves and leave perforations behind, or cause leaves to yellow and wilt. To add to their annoyance, they love hot weather and so are abundant in Texas.
Ladybugs are one of their natural predators so keep those girls around if you have them, however, the population is usually too overwhelming for ladybugs to control.
Grubs are actually the larvae of the Junebug and the many different varieties, but can be incredibly damaging in this stage still. They tend to feed on turfgrass at the root, so if brown patches appear on your lawn, it could be this. They are white and pretty easy to spot if you can turn over a layer of dirt to find them hiding.
If more than a couple are spotted in the same area, there is danger to your turf grass and they should be exterminated.
Another tree and shrub pest that you’ll probably notice the nutrients have been sucked out of leaves and stems before you see these tiny creatures. Taking nutrients will cause leaves and parts of your plant to yellow. Like the spider mites, they too produce a sticky honeydew waste that may cause leaves and stems to appear shiny, but will later turn to a sticky black mould.
Spot any of these pests?
Gecko Green’s pest control service is equipped to spot, root out and handle all kinds of pests that are hurting your foliage. While some of these can be dealt with at home, it’s good to call in the local pest control experts when spotted.