Insects may be shortening the lifespan of trees in Prince William County.
However, help is available for county residents who are looking to keep the trees in their yard healthy.
“August is a great time to check for Asian Longhorned Beetle adults and Spotted Lanternfly nymphs and adults,” Valerie Huelsman from Prince William County’s Mosquito and Forest Pest Management program said in a release from the county. “Also, keeping your trees healthy by following good tree care guidelines can help to reduce some pest risk, particularly for native pests.”
Monitoring and early intervention might prevent future problems, according to the release. A county program tracks insect populations, assesses damage they cause, and takes action when appropriate.
Wood boring beetles, sap suckers, fungi and defoliators are common pests found in the area. They can harm and may kill trees.
Wood boring beetles, like the Asian Longhorned Beetles and the Emerald Ash Borer, eat through the tree’s inner wood.
“In early stages these pests can sometimes be hard to find, but looking closely you may see exit holes where beetles emerge as adults or sites where eggs were laid or dying branches.” Huelsman said.
Sap suckers, such as the Spotted Lanternfly and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, cause tree damage by piercing plant tissue to consume the sap.
Trees invaded by sap suckers may show wilted leaves and dead branches. Passersby could also see oozing sap and molds developing at the base of the tree.
Fall Cankerworms and Gypsy Moths are defoliators that eat leaves and prevent photosynthesis. Too much defoliation can cause too much stress among trees and kill them.
Humans also contribute to the spread of pests. The Walnut Twig Beetle and other wood boring insects can be moved in unfinished wooden objects and firewood that hasn’t been treated.
Some insects, including the Gypsy Moth and Spotted Lanternfly, lay eggs that may become attached to brick, stone and lawn furniture.
To learn more information about protecting trees, visit www.pwcgov.org/gypsymothmosquito or call 703-792-6279.
This article was written by Contributing Writer Lana Campbell.
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