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Trees are a precious natural resource, converting carbon dioxide into oxygen for us to breathe. Healthy trees can live for decades or even centuries. Unfortunately, however, they are susceptible to damage due to diseases and insect parasites.

There are a number of parasitic insects that can do trees harm. Sometimes the larvae eat the inside of the tree, preventing water from reaching its tissues. Sometimes insects or larvae eat the leaves, reducing the trees’ ability to collect sunlight to power the process of photosynthesis. Sometimes the insects spread diseases from tree to tree. In any case, the damage can require tree service Lyme CT.

1. Sapsuckers

These insects feed on the sap found within the leaves of the tree, as well as their stems. This can cause the leaves to curl up and turn yellow or become misshapen. As they eat, the insects leave behind a substance on the leaves called honeydew. This is a sticky fluid that can provide a breeding ground for infectious fungi. Whiteflies and aphids are examples of sapsuckers.

2. Bark Beetles

Bark beetles attack conifers and hardwood trees. The damage the beetles themselves do to the trees is relatively minor. However, they carry disease-causing spores that they spread from tree to tree as they move.

3. Wood Borers

Wood borers lay their eggs under the bark. When the eggs hatch, the larvae eat their way through the wood of the tree. This weakens its structural integrity and prevents the tree from getting enough water. Examples include Asian longhorn beetles and emerald ash borers, both of which have become widespread in the United States and kill hundreds of trees per year.

4. Defoliators

Defoliators feed on the leaves of trees. Rather than simply extracting the sap, they consume the leaf tissue. As a result, the tree has no way to collect sunlight with which to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. If the defoliation is extensive enough, the tree can die. Western tent caterpillars and gypsy moths are notorious defoliators.