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In southwestern Ontario, there are 5 main categories of insect pests that affect our trees:
5. Root Feeders
These pests feed on tree foliage -
Defoliators are most commonly the larval (caterpillar or grub) forms of various moths,
beetles, and sawflies. Because they are only feeding on foliage in the larval stage,
their ability to damage trees is usually limited to a short time period in any growing
The leaf chewing pests have the largest mouth-
Common leaf chewers in southwestern Ontario include:
The leaf skeletonizer pests are able to eat the soft outer tissues of foliage while leaving a skeletal network of veins behind, producing a very distinct visual effect.
Common leaf skeletonizers in southwestern Ontario include:
The leaf miner pests are very small, tunnelling unseen between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves, feeding upon the succulent interior tissues, again producing a distinct visual effect.
Common leaf miners in southwestern Ontario include:
The boring pests attack mainly the inner bark and wood, although all parts of the tree from roots to buds are affected. The main effects of boring insects are deformity and weakening of tissues, as well as serious damage to the transport tissues that allow trees to move water, nutrients, and sugars (cambium). If the transport tissues are sufficiently compromised, decline and death will occur quickly.
Common borers in southwestern Ontario include:
These pests have leaching mouthparts which they use to extract cell sap either from foliage or directly from transport tissue (cambium). Their effects are usually lack of vitality, wilting, or discolouration, but in extreme cases they are capable of causing serious stress, decline, and even death of plant tissues.
Common sucking insects in southwestern Ontario include:
These pests cause trees to produce distinct, abnormal growths which usually envelope the insect. Despite their conspicuous appearance, most gall makers affect the aesthetic value of trees as opposed to their actual health. Once the gall has formed around the insect, it is quite protected, making control or treatment very difficult.
Common gall makers in southwestern Ontario include:
These pests live in the ground and feed on the succulent, non-
Common root feeders in southwestern Ontario include: