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Common Pests

Image of LeafhoppersLeafhoppers are found all over the world and constitute is the second-largest family in the Hemiptera (plant-feeding insects). They have at least 20,000 described species. Leafhoppers feed by sucking the sap of vascular plants, and are found almost anywhere such plants occur, from tropical rainforests, to arctic tundra.


Image of BagwormThe larvae of the Psychidae or Bagworms construct cases out of silk and environmental materials such as sand, soil, lichen, or plant materials. These cases are attached to rocks, trees or fences while resting or during their pupa stage, but are otherwise mobile.

Azalea lace bug

Image of Azalea lace bugAzalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides (Scott), belongs to a group of insects in the family Tingidae. The insects in this family generally live and feed on the underside of leaves. The young nymph lace bug is nearly colorless at hatching but soon turns black and spiny. It sheds its outer skin six times and ranges in size from 0.4 mm to 1.8 mm before becoming an adult.

Walnut caterpillar

Image of Walnut caterpillarThe walnut caterpillar is a relatively common insect in hardwood forests of eastern North America. It  is a serious threat to pecan, hickory and walnut trees. It also endangers oak, willow, honey locust and certain woody shrubs. Adult walnut caterpillars are found throughout the spring and summer. The females deposit eggs in masses on the undersides of the leaves.

Oystershell scale

Image of Oystershell scaleThe oystershell scale is one of the most common armored scale insects that cause injury to shade trees and shrubs. Ash, cotoneaster, dogwood, lilac, poplar and willow are most commonly infested. Oystershell scales attach themselves to the bark of twigs and branches.

Japanese beetle

Image of Japanese beetle

The beetle species Popillia japonica is commonly known as the Japanese beetle. It is about 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) long and 1 cm (0.4 inches) wide, with iridescent copper-colored elytra and green thorax and head. It is not very destructive in Japan, where it is controlled by natural enemies.

Gypsy moth

Image of Gypsy mothThe gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a moth in the family Lymantriidae of Eurasian origin. It is a non-native, invasive species that has been advancing into Ohio from Pennsylvania and Michigan over the past decade. Although white, chestnut, black and red oak are preferred.

Flatheaded appletree borer

Image of Flatheaded appletree borerThe flatheaded appletree borer(Chrysobothris femorata) is one of a complex of over 600 species. The flatheaded borers, or metallic wood boring beetles, as a group, are perhaps the most serious pests attacking a wide range of tree species. The larval stage of the flatheaded borers is the most damaging to trees as they feed in the cambium layer just under the bark of the trunk and scaffold branches.

Fall webworm

Imagr of Fall webwormFall webworm (Hyphantria cunea) is a moth in the family Arctiidae known principally for its larval stage, which creates the characteristic webbed nests on the tree limbs of a wide variety of hardwoods in the late summer and fall. It is mainly an aesthetic pest and is not believed to harm otherwise healthy trees.

European red mite

Image of European red miteEuropean red mite (Panonychus ulmi)  is oval, bright red, and has a small stalk arising from the top. It is a major tree fruit pest attacking apples, stone fruits, and pears.

European fruit lecanium

Image of European fruit lecaniumThe European fruit lecanium is a key soft scale insect pest of shade trees and other woody ornamental plants. This species feeds on a wide range of host plants. Populations of this pest build up quickly so monitoring for this pest on potential host plants is important.

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