Countless insects live on, in, and around trees, shrubs and landscape plants. Many are harmless, while others can cause fatal damage to your valuable plants. Your trees and shrubs are prone to discoloration, defoliation, and even death, when certain insects get out of control. Below are some of the bugs that we treat so they don't destroy your landscape.
Aphids are a diverse group of soft-bodied insects. Females can produce 10 to 20 generations per season. Found in large groups, they often feed on younger foliage, so new leaves curl or become off-color. Since they suck sap from the leaves and stems of a wide variety of trees and shrubs, common signs of them include distorted leaves and stems, as well as sticky honeydew and sooty mold.
There are many kinds of beetles that create havoc on your landscaping plants. In nature they often feed on old or weakened trees in the forest, but the change in climate and living proximity means beetles are attacking the leaves, seeds, fruit or wood of your trees and shrubs.
Lace bugs are primarily active from May through September. They have a mouth that is straw-like, which they insert into the plants to suck out its fluids. The plants then become weak due to lack of nutrients and water. Often, an affected plant develops a yellowish blotchy appearance.
Leaf miners are called miners because they are insect larva that tunnel through leaves by eating the leaf tissue of the plant. You can see where they've mined the leaf, as their burrowing becomes lighter or a different color than the rest of the plant. Some even attack the fruits that grow on the plant, causing it to rot.
During the heat of the summer you can see damage from mites, which are arachnids related to spiders and ticks. When they infest gardens, trees and shrubs, they suck the leaf tissue contents causing the leaves to look wilted. If they continue feeding, the leaves become discolored and fall off.
Scale insects are named after the skins and wax that cover their body. They are among the most difficult bugs to control since they have brown or grey shells that are camouflaged with the bark. They drain a tree's energy by affixing to it, taking its nutrients, and reducing its ability to manufacture food. There are about 35 scale species that reach epidemic pest status, causing your tree and shrubs to be weakened or die.
The adult Emerald Ash Borer beetle is dark metallic green in color, 1/2 inch-long and 1/8 inch wide. As a borer insect, the Emerald Ash Borer tunnels into the trunks and roots of woody plants and trees to lay its eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the plant tissue. And while other borer insects feed on weakened or dead trees and plants, the Emerald Ash Borer targets healthy ash trees, including green ash, black ash, white ash and blue ash. Because the beetle is relatively small and the damage to the tree is mostly internal, the presence of borers is hard to detect until ash trees become damaged or die. Large ash trees can die in as few as three years. Emerald Ash Borers can kill smaller ash trees in one year.