Are The Insects On My Tree Dangerous?

Having lush green trees in your front or backyard is a blessing. They add to the natural beauty and also relax the mind. However, trees can also become home to little invaders that can destroy trees. Considering there is a huge variety of insects, differentiating between the good and bad ones can be difficult. So, let’s take a closer look at what types can be dangerous for your tree and how you can deal with them. Arborist services offer tree inspections that can help you deal with the infestation in a better manner.



Aphids are soft-bodied insects and are not harmful to the tree’s health. It does not mean you should ignore the infestation. Aphids live in colonies and attack the lush green leaves of the tree, eating away all the sap from the stem and leaving behind a syrup-like substance called honeydew.

Furthermore, Aphids lay eggs in the fall that hatch in the springtime. So, if you notice that your tree is experiencing infestation around that time, it most likely means Aphids have taken over. If you want to make sure your trees have aphid infestation, you will observe little aphid bugs crawling up on the leaves and stems of the tree.

If the infestations are ignored, they can turn serious and cause the leaves to curl. In addition to that, you might also notice stunted growth, dead plant shoots, and yellow foliage. If you have a car or furniture placed underneath the tree, you shall come across a sticky fluid, which is aphid secretions.

Although Aphid infestations do not harm the tree to the point where it dies, in severe cases, you will need to use insecticides and pesticides to kill them.

White Flies

Whiteflies also known as the snow flies are another common type found feeding on trees, especially on the underside of the leaves. When small, the whitefly lava appears as a scale insect in an oval shape. Meanwhile, once they are fully mature, they resemble small moths.

Perhaps the best way to identify white flies is to notice their wings and body that are covered in a powdery white wax as well. The reason white flies are problematic is because they release honeydew which causes sooty mold to develop.

Moreover, white flies are also known to spread tree diseases, which is another reason you should get rid of them as soon as possible. If you notice that the underside of the leaves is damaged, it most likely means white flies are attacking it. You will also observe little white bugs flying away as you approach the leaves.

If the infestation continues, the tree will soon have yellowing leaves, silvering, and general discoloration. To help the tree become free of white flies, you should simply give the tree a rinse to scatter the flies and dislodge the eggs.

Scale Insects

Another type of sap-sucking pest is scale insects that attack the inner part of the tree’s bark. These insects come with both hard and soft-scale bodies. Scale insects tend to have hard shells that allow them to penetrate twigs to suck sap. If the scale insects make their way deep inside the tree, they will not only cause yellowing of the tree but also death in some cases.

Plus, they are most likely to attack dogwood, lilac, ash, willow, etc. in the early spring. To determine whether your tree or trees are infested with scale insects, you should inspect tree branches, twigs, fruits, and leaves. Using their sharp mouths, they eat through the surface and suck, leaving the leaves limp and discolored.

To control the infestation, you can use soapy water especially when they are young. However, make sure to not use harsh chemicals as they might kill the natural predators too. If the infestation seems extreme, you should hire an expert to deal with the situation.

Wood Borers

Asian Longhorn Beetle

Asian longhorn beetles were first recorded in the late 90s in New York and have since continued to occupy a variety of trees. These insects can fly between states in search of a new host. Asian Longhorn beetles are a bit easy to handle as they lay eggs in the same tree that they attack.

Moreover, these beetles are identified by their antennas bigger than their bodies. Some of the trees they prefer attacking include poplar, plane tree, elm, etc. If you want to ensure your trees are being attacked by Asian Longhorn beetles, you will notice signs such as dust-like frass or sweet sap excrement.

This usually takes place on the trunk and branches of the tree. Other indications include yellowing of leaves, unseasonal drooping, and chewed round leaves. Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of an Asian Longhorn beetle infection is by destroying the infected tree.

If some parts were infected, you should remove them to stop it from spreading. This needs to be done on time to prevent other trees in the surrounding from being damaged as well. Consult tree cutting services Chevy Chase for this purpose.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borers were recorded in North America for the first time in the ’90s and used to attack ash trees. These insects are identified by their striking metallic green color with a purple hidden abdomen under the wings. Plus, Ash borers can range from 4 mm wide to 15 mm in length.

Emerald Ash borers single-handedly destroy hundreds of thousands of ash trees every single year. The worst thing about this infestation is that it is hardly noticeable, especially within the first two years. On the other hand, these insects can be found creating S-shaped feeding galleries, while producing D-shaped holes in the bark as they emerge out of the tree

You can stop the infestation in its early stages but there are no chemicals in the market that are known to effectively work against the infestation. Sometimes, you might want to create a mixture of chemicals to kill the borers.


Weevils are tiny tree insects that can’t be easily spotted with the naked eye. These insects dig hollow cavities under the tree’s bark, which is a lot different than making tunnels or galleries in the wood done by other borers. Weevils prefer feeding on holly, azalea, strawberry, and the roots or bases of the woody trees.

At the same time, these insects like warm and moist environments. Not only that, they can also end up inside your house looking for shelter and food. To identify a weevil infestation, you will need to inspect the leaves for being notched or scalloped. If that is the case, it means weevils have taken over and in worst-case scenarios can completely consume them.

What makes this infestation hard to deal with is that it is very difficult to diagnose, to begin with. The treatment plan for weevil infestation depends on their stage of life. If they are mature and grown, you can remove them manually. However, during the larvae stage, you will need to use chemical insecticides.


Dealing with tree insects can be frustrating. However, you should be aware of the common types to be able to identify and work on a treatment plan. If the infestation is severe, you will need to consult an arborist and, in some cases, tree removal companies Potomac. In the meantime, you should perform inspections and look out for signs that might indicate an infestation taking place.