Insect Management: Protecting Trees From Pests

Date March 13, 2024

Author TreeNewal Staff

Harmful pests can cause serious damage to trees in the North Texas region. Property owners can take preventive steps to protect trees from these invasive insects. Proactive insect management can ensure the continued health and vitality of trees in a yard or landscape. This guide will outline some effective strategies for tree insect management in Fort Worth, Texas.

Common Tree Pests in Texas

Image via Flickr by USFWS – Pacific Region

Not all insects are bad, but some can be detrimental to trees in North Texas. Along with diseases, insects kill two out of every three trees that die, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. For this reason, it’s essential to know the difference between beneficial insects — such as bees, which are pollinators — and harmful pests.

Some harmful insects in the Fort Worth region include:

  • Emerald ash borers.
  • Aphids.
  • Bagworms.
  • Lace bugs.
  • Bark beetles.
  • Leaf beetles.
  • Spider mites.

When these harmful insects infect trees, they can cause damage, disease, and decay. However, there are methods that property owners can follow for effective pest control.

Be Proactive

The best strategy is to be proactive, taking steps to prevent insects from attacking trees in the first place. Healthy trees are less susceptible to pest infestations. For this reason, it’s a good idea for property owners to practice proper tree maintenance. This tree care can include watering during periods of drought, pruning with correct techniques, and using nutrient-rich fertilizer. Scheduling routine tree inspections with a certified arborist can also allow property owners to identify a potential problem before it becomes a larger issue.

Use Natural Methods

If a tree becomes infested, homeowners should refrain from immediately reaching for the insecticide. That’s because residential insecticides can kill all insects in a yard or garden — even those that have useful purposes. Additionally, these products can be toxic to pets and people.
Instead, property owners should first focus on using natural methods to combat a pest problem. If harmful insects appear, a homeowner can often spray them off the tree with soapy water. Leaf blowers and hand vacuums can also be effective at removing insects from trees. In some cases, pruning the infected branches can be a successful treatment method, as long as the insects haven’t already spread to other areas of the tree.
Another helpful method is to enhance a landscape with plants and flowers that attract good bugs, which will eat unwanted pests. In particular, ladybugs can be good bugs to eat aphids and other predatory insects.

Hire a Professional

When in doubt, homeowners should hire a professional to handle insect management. When treated quickly using the proper methods, a tree has a better chance of fending off an insect attack. In particular, tree owners should contact a professional when they first notice insects or other warning signs, such as weakened branches or discolored leaves.

At TreeNewal, we specialize in tree insect management in Fort Worth and the surrounding area. Our tree experts can evaluate insect problems and provide solutions to prevent or mitigate an infestation. With quick action, homeowners can prevent the further spread of insects in their yards and gardens. For more information, call us at 817-329-2450.