Common Signs of Insect Invaders

Early intervention is one of the best things you can do to help your trees and shrubs if they are struggling with an insect infestation. But this is easier said than done. Many symptoms of insect infestations go unnoticed by homeowners because they just don’t know what to look for. This typically ends with homeowners missing the small symptoms seen in the beginning stages of the infestation and only noticing major symptoms after the trees/shrubs are in irreversible decline.

Luckily there are a few common symptoms that trees show when they are dealing with an insect infestation. Our arborists suggest making a regular habit of inspecting your trees and looking for these symptoms when insects are active (usually from March-October).


Plant sucking insects damage plants by piercing the plant tissues with their sharp mouth and sucking out the plant’s fluids. One of the most noticeable signs of plant-sucking insects is honeydew. Most homeowners are familiar with this sticky substance that coats cars and sidewalks in the spring and summer. This substance is usually referred to as sap but it’s actually the excrement of plant-sucking insects.

Dry & Shriveled Leaves

Dry & Shriveled Leaves


Lecanium Scale -Honeydew

Sooty Mold

Sooty Mold

Common Plant Sucking Insects in the area include:


Many types of tree pests feed on the leaves and needles of trees. Chewing insects are usually easy to notice because the type of damage they create and the fact that you can see the insects crawling around and feeding on the leaves. Repeated infestations will cause the tree’s/plant’s health to decline and can even cause death. If you have a severe infestation you won’t even have time to wait multiple seasons; severe infestations can significantly damage the tree’s health in only one season.


Holes in Leaves/Leaves Looking Chewed

Chewing Insect Damage


Leaf Skeletonization



Nest/Insects crawling around on the leaves

White Webs On My Tree

Common Chewing Insects in the area include:


Wood-boring insects are one of the most destructive pests that plague a wide variety of tree species. These borers tunnel through the tree’s bark, feed on its tissue, and overwinter within the tree. Wood Boring insects are extremely destructive because they kill trees from the inside out. They do this by feeding on the vascular tissue, which reduces the tree’s ability to transfer energy and nutrients.

Entry/exit holes in the bark.

sick tree entry and exit holes

Small mounds of sawdust at the base of the tree

Sections of leaves wilting and dying

Common Boring Insects in the area include:

Ambrosia Beetle


Bronze Birch Borer

Asian Longhorn Beetle

Need Help With Insects?

Or Call 703-573-3029


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