Insects that munch on different plant tissue, are categorized as chewing insects. They eat leaves, flowers, buds, roots, and twigs. Common chewing insects include beetles and caterpillars. Leaf notching, leaf mining and leaf skeletonizing (basically chewed up leaves) are all signs that you have chewing insect problem.
Insects that like to feed off the juices of trees are known as sucking insects. They insert their beak into the tissues of leaves, twigs, branches, flowers or fruit and feed on the plant’s juices. Aphids, mealy bugs, thrips, and leafhoppers are examples of sucking insects. Discoloration, drooping, wilting and leaf spots are all signs you have sucking insects hanging out in your tree.
Boring insects like to hide beneath the surface. They spend their time living and feeding beneath the bark of a tree as larvae. Bark beetles are a type of boring insect that mate on the bark or surface of a tree but lay eggs in tunnels beneath the bark.
What should I do about my insect problem?
While some insects pose a threat to the health and vitality of your trees, remember that most insects are actually beneficial to the health of your trees. They pollinate and act as a predator towards potentially harmful chewing, sucking and boring insects. If you are able to identify signs of insect infestation and damage to plant tissue, the solution is not to go wild with pesticide and potentially harmful solutions. It’s best not to negatively disturb the complex ecosystem trees thrive under. Instead, contact a certified ISA Arborists for a professional consultation.