Posted on: 23 May 2016
Colorado blue spruces have the bushy bottom and thick needles that make spruce trees such a hit around the holidays. The blue spruce amps up the beauty with the blue-tinged hue to its needles. A Colorado blue spruce is a great ornamental addition to medium to large sized yards or properties.
Keeping your Colorado blue spruce looking attractive does require a bit of maintenance that includes monitoring for signs of insect infestation. Here are a few of the insects that target the Colorado blue spruce – and how a pest control company can help minimize the damage.
Cooley Spruce Gall Adelgid
The cooley spruce gall adelgid is a tiny black insect that can feed on the Colorado blue spruce. Females lay eggs in the bark of the spruce and when the eggs hatch into larvae those larvae will feed on the nearest bark material. The feeding causes irregular plant cell growth, which creates discolored galls or protrusions near the sites of feeding. The galls tend to darken over time and won't typically fall off on their own.
The good news is that the adelgids can't reproduce for years on a spruce tree unless there's a Douglas fir nearby. That's because adelgids are one of the rare insects that needs two different types of tree material to drive the insects through all the stages of life. Lacking a Douglas fir nearby, the adelgids will simply die of natural causes eventually.
You can still call in a pest control service to remove any existing adelgids manually. The galls can also be trimmed off to improve the appearance of your spruce tree.
Spruce Spider Mites
Adult spider mites are small insects with dark green bodies that have salmon-colored scales. The females lay eggs in the spruce bark which then hatch light-green larvae that resemble smaller versions of the adults. The larvae have suckers that they use to drain nutrients from the spruce's needles.
The needles on an affected tree can start to look yellow then rust colored and then drop from the tree prematurely. While mite damage isn't fatal for the tree, the cosmetic appearance can greatly suffer if the infestation is left untreated.
Call in a pest control service like Fowler Pest Control if you suspect a spider mite infestation. The service can test for the mites and then apply the appropriate insecticide or miticide to treat the problem. The mites have a very rapid life-cycle so calling in a pest control service early is important to prevent damage to your tree's beautiful needles.