Bad Tree Bugs

Not all insects are damaging to trees, but some are capable of killing a surprising large number of trees in a short period of time. As professionals that provide tree removal in Atlanta, we encounter forest insects all the time and can tell the difference between a minor pest and one that’s a major threat. Here are a few forest insects you should watch out for in Georgia.

Southern Pine Beetle

It would be difficult to overstate the damage that has been and can be done by the Southern Pine Beetle. According the Georgia Forestry Commission, the southern Pine Beetle is the most destructive pine bark beetle in the entire southern United States. They attack southern yellow pines trees of all species. The distinctive S-shaped egg galleries the females create underneath the bark can identify an infested tree. These pests quickly spread to surrounding trees and most often the best treatment is to immediately remove the infested trees.

Gypsy Moth

Another extremely destructive forest insect is the gypsy moth. In 1981 alone, gypsy moths defoliated nearly 13 million acres of hardwood trees. They seem to prefer oak but will attack most hardwood species. Gypsy moth egg masses are usually found on the trunks and branches of trees and are buff-colored. The gypsy moth is most harmful during the caterpillar stage of its life cycle, when it eats the leaves of hardwood trees. Although gypsy moth infestations are not as common in the south as they are in the northeastern United States, infestations have occurred in Georgia.

Carpenter Ants

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. Instead, they clear it out to build tunnels for nesting sites. In comparison to the southern pine beetle and the gypsy moth, carpenter ants infestations spread slowly. But they can still cause extensive damage. They often burrow into decaying trees, and further existing structural damage. Since they don’t eat the wood, they can leave behind material called “frass” that is similar to sawdust in appearance.

At Yellow Ribbon Tree Experts, we have years of experience identifying and controlling forest insects. If you suspect insects are damaging your trees, contact us today for a free estimate.

Image courtesy of: Creative Commons / Gido