What Insect Is Damaging My Trees in the Spring?

Spring is often an exciting season. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and there is pollen everywhere. But even with that, tree pests come alive as well. Damage to stems and tree leaves is often the first sign that you could have a pest infestation in your hands. Generally, with extremely cold weather in winter, pests are often not a big problem by the time it gets to spring. But if the winter season has been mild, it provides a great opportunity for pests to continue thriving during spring. What are the spring insects that damage my tree? Here is a compiled list of the culprits.

Southern Pine Beetle

These boring tree killers are also referred to as Dendroctonus frontalis. They are considered the most destructive insects in Southern State. Signs of an infestation involve browning of the foliage and limbs and, eventually, the tree dying. Unfortunately, when these beetles attack your trees, they emit a pheromone which attracts other beetles. Thousands of beetles will have infested your trees in a few days. After that, the beetles start spreading to other nearby trees. Older trees are the ones at risk of an infestation. But you can discourage these pests from attacking your trees by keeping them healthy. If you notice an infestation of southern pine beetles, call an arborist to identify the right measures to get rid of the infestation.


Another common spring pest is an aphid. These pests have straw-like mouths that allow them to feed on your plant juices and steal nutrients. Signs of an aphid infestation include curling leaves, black sooty mold, twig dieback, and stunted growth. One can control aphids with insecticides or horticultural soap treatments. You should call an arborist immediately you notice any symptoms.


What bugs are hurting my trees? Bagworms could be the culprits. During fall, a female bagworm can lay more than 500 eggs that hatch around mid-spring. If your tree starts turning brown, or the needles of your pine fall off, it could be a bagworm infestation. To remove them, you will need the help of a professional tree service.


Also referred to as inchworms, cankerworms chew your trees’ foliage. The two species of this pest are called “spring cankerworm” and fall cankerworm.” Despite the name, they both hatch during spring and damage the same trees. The damage they cause to trees is stress-related, which could potentially lead to dieback, root decline, or borer damage. If you have healthy trees, one year of defoliation might not cause damage to your trees. But get it treated immediately if you do not want the problem to recur.

Scaled Insects

Scaled insects are popular in ornamental shrubs and backyard trees. They have threadlike mouthparts that suck sap from tree leaves. To treat these insects, you will need to apply pesticides on the nymphs when they emerge from their eggs.

Trees make your property look good attractive, yet pests can destroy that appeal. If you have started noticing any signs of pest infestation on your trees, call Rocky Mountain Tree Service. We offer various services, including tree trimming, tree removal, and tree pest control. We will help eliminate the pests and keep your trees healthy.