The Tiniest Of Tree Pests And How To End Them

Nobody likes a half-dead tree on their lawn. It is an eyesore, like the dog with mange and numerous bald spots. Speaking of mange and bald spots, a tree can have similar conditions and equally obnoxious pests. If you want a tree to survive, and you want to address whatever is eating at it, you first have to know and spot the problems. Large pests are easy to see, but what you need is the ability to spot smaller pests. Here are couple of the most troublesome tree and shrub pests and the size that makes them difficult to spot until you know what to look for. 

Ips Beetles

If you cut down a dead limb off of a tree in your yard, ask the tree and shrub care expert to split open the limb. Getting a look inside may help you find something you will not see looking at the healthier parts of the tree. What you are looking for is a tiny beetle grub about three to five millimeters long. You may need a magnifying glass to find them, but if the ips beetle grubs are present, you will see them gnawing their way through the dead limb. If they are present in the dead limb, there is a good chance that some of them have moved into the rest of the tree. You may need a tree pest control professional to save the rest of the tree from these pests. 

Hemlock and Balsam Wooly Adelgids

These very tiny aphids are only about a millimeter or two long as adults. You will not be able to spot their larvae without a high-powered magnifying glass. They tend to feed in clusters on the branches of hemlock or balsam. They are called "wooly" because the cluster together gives the infected area of the tree the appearance of having a wooly spot. Thankfully, your tree care expert can spray your hemlock or balsam trees with an aphid-killing spray that should not only kill these pests, but also any other aphids that would try to eat the tree(s). 


Chiggers are the larval stage of a mite that feeds on plants. Chiggers will feed on the skin of people, but the adults will consume plant leaves on shrubs and trees like nobody's business. The mites are easy to spot in fall because of their bright red color. You will see them crawling around the undersides of the leaves on your trees and shrubs, where the females lay clutches of eggs. Spraying will kill them, thus ending their life cycle, the bites you get from the larvae (i.e., chiggers), and the destruction to your trees and shrubs caused by the adults. The adults are about one millimeter in size, but the chigger larvae are microscopic.