Skeletonizer Insects Attack Local Trees
August 5, 2015
There’s no question that summer is definitely here in Texas. As the temperatures soar well above 100 F degrees, certain insects still manage to not only survive, but thrive. When plants are heat or water-stressed, they become prime victims of advantageous pests. There are also many insects that are attacking in full force because of the wet weather we had this spring. Mild temperatures and heavy rainfall into June gave most insects the optimal environment to multiply. Now we are seeing the after effects. Bagworms, webworms, aphids are only a few of the pests that can become a problem for your trees if they're aren't dealt with proactively.
Skeletonizers have left behind severely damaged leaves that will go on to die.
We’ve spotted increasing “skeletonizer” damage on local trees recently. There are a number of insects and caterpillars that are considered skeletonizers, as they chew away the inner green portions of leaves, leaving behind the leaf veins. This creates a skeleton look to the leaf.
Chewing skeletonizers feed on foliage by tearing, ripping or biting the tissue between the leaf veins, and consuming the liquid and nutrients. Damage to a few leaves on a tree may be cosmetic and not harmful. But, if large swaths of foliage are damaged, or repeatedly damaged, your tree may be weakened making it even more susceptible to new pests, disease, or heat stress.
Aside from causing leaves to look skeletonized, chewing insect damage can also include damage to roots and stems. Plants might then wilt, defoliate, have irregular holes in leaves or discoloration on the surface and at the margins.
To properly treat specific chewing insects, it’s often best to hire a professional so the right treatment is applied the right way and at the right time. We use the the least environmentally harmful solutions to treat pest problems in trees and shrubs. If you need help controlling skeletonizer pests, please give us a call.