Are you noticing white bugs on your trees? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. While these tiny bugs may look harmless at first glance, some can actually cause serious damage to your trees if not dealt with properly. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the various types of white bugs you may encounter on your trees, how to identify them, and most importantly, how to get rid of them.
Types of White Bugs on Trees:
Two common types of white bugs found on trees are woolly aphids and mealybugs. Woolly aphids are tiny, white, and fuzzy and can often be found clustered on the leaves and stems of your tree. We often get asked, “are woolly aphids harmful?” And the short answer is “yes.” If left untreated, these bugs will feed on the tree’s sap, weakening the tree and making it more susceptible to other pests and diseases. Additionally, the honeydew that woolly aphids produce can attract other insects and fungi to your tree.
Mealybugs are small, oval-shaped, and covered in a powdery white substance. These insects feed on plant sap and can cause significant damage to plants and crops. They are often found in warm and humid environments, such as greenhouses and indoor gardens.
Another type of white bug that may be found on trees is scale, which is often characterized by patches of white bumps on the tree’s bark. One particularly vicious variety you may encounter is the crape myrtle bark scale, which is a type of invasive scale that specifically affects crape myrtle trees.
It’s best to deal with these bugs as soon as possible to prevent any long-term damage to your tree.
How to Get Rid of White Bugs on Trees:
The method of getting rid of white bugs on your tree will depend on the type of insect present. Luckily, RTEC ‘s team of arborists and environmental specialists will formulate a customized plan for your pest issue.
For a natural solution to suppress woolly aphids and mealybugs, you can try a mixture of dish soap and water, which can be sprayed onto the affected areas of your tree. Although this method is not as effective at controlling pest populations, it is a more environmentally friendly way to fight these pests on your trees.
For white scale and crape myrtle bark scale, a natural alternative to traditional treatment methods is horticultural oil, which we can apply to your trees for you. It’s important to have a professional apply horticultural oil, as these products can often burn your plant if applied incorrectly.
White Bugs Under Tree Bark:
If you notice white bugs under the bark of your tree, it’s likely that you’re dealing with some type of scale insect. These bugs often feed on the tree’s sap, which can damage the tree over time. Severe scale infestations often need professional help, but even after treatment, homeowners may notice white specks on the bark. Luckily, this is usually just the remaining (dead) scale bodies. To test if scale populations are still active, you can scrape off the white flecks. If they flake right off and are dry, it means the treatment worked and the scale is dead. If you scrape and detect wetness, the scale is still active and another treatment may be warranted.
White bugs on trees may seem like a small issue, but they can actually cause significant damage over time if not dealt with properly. By identifying the type of bug present and taking the appropriate steps to eradicate it, you can ensure the health and longevity of your tree. Remember, it’s always best to treat these bugs as soon as they’re spotted to prevent any further damage.