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  • Stephen Lipscomb

Common Tree and Shrub Pest Part 1

Here are three common plant pests that love to destroy your landscape. Take a minute to look at the symptoms and see if you remember seeing any of these in your landscape.


Black Lace Weevil



These little buggers love Rhododendrons and Laurels. If you ever see cut out sections in the center or edges of leaves (like a hole punch was used), then you may have an infestation. Black Lace Weevils overwinter as larvae in the soil. In spring, the larvae feed on roots and the root crown. Pupation begins in spring, and adults emerge late spring throughout the summer. They immediately begin to feed on leaves and lay eggs 3 to 4 weeks later. Larvae emerge from these eggs and begin to feed on roots, continuing to do so through the fall. There is usually one generation per year.


Aphids


These pale little creatures commonly destroy Azaleas. If you have ever noticed that your Azaleas look pale and week or if you ever see swarms of what look like gnats around your Azaleas in early Spring, you may have this problem. A definitive test is to look at the underside of the leaf. If you see that the leaf is "speckled" then this is almost a sure bet you have had an Aphid infestation at some point.


Aphids crawl on the underside of the leaf and "suck" the chlorophyll out of the leaf. The small dots on the bottom side of the leaf are where the insect has pierced the tissue.


Bagworms


Bagworms are about as fascinating as they are devastating. These creatures start out as moths. In late Summer and Fall, these moths lay there eggs on the trunk of desirable trees (arborvitaes). In late spring, these eggs hatch and miniature bagworms crawl from the trunk to the end of the nearest branch eating everything in between adding foliage to a sticky web they form around themselves. When they reach the end of the branch they hang there for 4 week and pupate into a moth to start the cycle over again.

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