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A Guide to Beneficial Bugs & Harmful Pests

When you see lots of insects on your trees, your first reaction may be to want to eradicate them, but sometimes this isn’t necessary. There are many beneficial bugs and many harmful pests that can be living on or near your trees. To help you determine which bugs should stay and which pests should go, your arborist in Edmonton is offering a helpful guide. 


Once you determine what type of bugs you have on your trees, you may still need our tree services in Edmonton. If that’s the case, contact All Season Tree Service and we can help you determine if you need pruning, shaping or tree removal in Edmonton.

Beneficial Bugs

Dragonfly

DRAGONFLIES

  Benefits: Eat other insects like mosquitoes

  How to identify: Long and thin bodies, large heads and eyes, two sets of net-like wings and bright colours

Earth worm

EARTHWORMS

  Benefits: Breakdown organic matter into soil, which promotes natural fertility and aeration

  How to identify: Long, slimy body that is tan in colour and doesn’t appear to have a head

Flower fly larvae

FLOWER FLY LARVAE

  Benefits: Prey on aphids

  How to identify: Adult flies are brightly coloured with body stripes

Green lacewings

GREEN LACEWINGS (APHID-LIONS)

  Benefits: Consume aphids and other garden pests

  How to identify: Green colour, net-like wings and clumsy flight

ground beetle

GROUND BEETLES

  Benefits: Feed on other insects such as caterpillars

  How to identify: Often have two or three segments on their bodies, six legs and are dark in colour

ladybug

LADYBUGS (LADYBIRD BEETLES)

  Benefits: Consume aphids and other garden pests

  How to identify: Red or orange colour with black spots on wings

Harmful Pests

aphids

APHIDS

  Disadvantage: Feed on plant sap and excrete “honeydew” which allows fungus to grow and creates black scum that sticks to cars, patio furniture and more. Losing sap also weakens the plant. 

  How to Identify: Small pear-shaped insects; generally green but can also be yellow, grey, black, brown or pink

  Signs of damage: Yellow or light red spotting or curling leaves 

  How to deal: Wash away aphids with water, trap aphids with sticky yellow cards hung around plants and encourage beneficial insects like ladybugs.

leaf beetle

LEAF BEETLES

  Disadvantage: The larvae of leaf beetles feed on the leaves of trees causing defoliation damage

  How to Identify: Larvae are wormlike with dull yellow and black stripes

  Signs of damage: Leaves with holes or missing altogether

  How to deal: Conventional pesticides are very effective and should be used as soon as eggs hatch while the larvae are still small

sawfly larvae

SAWFLY LARVAE

  Disadvantage: Larvae chew holes in leaves or consume entire leaves leading to defoliation of trees

  How to Identify: Sawflies come in various types, but generally the larvae are greenish caterpillars with short fleshy spines.

  Signs of damage: Holes in leaves or trees without any needles

  How to deal: Early detection will allow for easier control and reduced damage to your trees. Remove larvae with forceful water sprays, use insecticidal soap for low populations or use conventional insecticides.

weevils

WEEVILS

  Disadvantage: Larvae feed under the bark of the tree and feed punctures from adult weevils can cause damage

  How to Identify: Adults are small, green beetles with beak-like projections on their heads while larvae are small, whitish and legless.

  Signs of damage: Dropping, wilted appearance of leaves; small punctures covered in black fecal caps near the top

  How to deal: Mechanical control such as pruning and destruction of infested branches will help get rid of weevils as long as they are still larvae.

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