Common Tree Pests in Texas and How to Spot Them

Tree pests can take down entire forests.

According to a study by Purdue, the amount of carbon storage lost due to tree pests is equivalent to the carbon emissions of 5 million vehicles. If you’ve got tree pests in your yard, getting rid of them requires a keen eye and professional help.

Today, we’re going to tell you about the most common tree pests in Texas and how to spot them. The key to saving your trees is early detection, so keep reading and you’ll know everything you need to stop insects that attack trees in their tracks.


Aphids are among the most troubling of the common tree pests. Not only do they eat your tree leaves, but they leave behind a sticky substance called honeydew that attracts other pests. Even if the honeydew fails to attract more pests, it eventually turns to mold, further damaging your trees.

Detecting aphids isn’t always easy because they’re truly tiny. Look for curling, yellow leaves that look sick. The aphids themselves are like tiny neon-green specs and hide on the underside of leaves.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are like spiders in that they suck the life substance out of their prey. Spiders take the blood out of other insects, while spider mites remove the nutrients from tree leaves. They also take a serious toll on evergreen trees, causing the needles to fall out.

You can’t see spider mites with the naked eye, so you have to look for signs of their presence. This includes dried-out, yellowish leaves or the aforementioned needle loss in evergreens. They often leave behind toxins that enhance the yellowing and cause the leaves to warp.

Tree Scales

A tree scale is also tricky to detect because it lay flat and can be mistaken for knots in the bark. They’re tree parasites that act like spider mites, feeding off of the sap in the tree bark and remaining stationary until they’ve gotten their fill.

Scales are either armored or soft. Soft scales leave behind a sticky substance, much like aphids, that attracts other pests. There are various species of scale in Texas, all of which have the same aim to bleed your trees of their nutrients, so you need to deal with this issue as soon as you notice their presence.

Tent Caterpillars

Tent caterpillars get their name from the tent-like webs that they produce to cling to your plants and shelter in. The only way to get rid of them once they perch on your tree is to prune the affected area. If you’ve got a particularly bad infection, this might mean pruning several tree branches.

Protect Your Trees From These Common Tree Pests

The dry, hot climate in Texas makes it easy for your yard to succumb to these common tree pests. If you notice any of them on your trees, it’s time to act. To ensure your trees get the best possible care, you need to get professional help.

At Green Pine Professional Tree Service, we can assess the general health of your trees and come up with a plan to rid them of whatever pests have made their way in.

Contact us today to book one of our highly trained arborists to take care of your trees and come up with a preventative maintenance plan.