Lace Bugs Will Cause More Harm: The Oregon Department of Forestry reported that an invasive bug had caused substantial damage to Oregon’s white oak trees in the year 2022.
Officials report that the amount of damage caused by the oak lace bug, which has the scientific name Corythucha arcuata, has been present in Oregon since 2015, but the problem is getting worse.
The bug can be found in its natural habitat all the way from southern Canada to the eastern, central, and southern United States. In Oregon, it is most commonly a concern for urban oaks, although it is also capable of infesting other types of trees.
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Adult oak lace bugs have a length of about a sixteenth inch and are clear in color. They resemble the non-native azalea lace bugs that have been damaging rhododendrons and azaleas in the state of Oregon in recent years.
The underside of leaves is where lace bugs live, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. They do this by sucking plant juices out of plant cells that contain chlorophyll, which results in the leaves turning yellow.
If a person believes they have found a leaf that is being devoured by lace bugs, they should examine the underside of the leaf to make sure. They could find adult lace bugs, the shed skins of nymphs, and droplets of black excrement.
Officials in the forestry industry do not recommend treating plants with anything to kill the insect because they are normally merely a nuisance from an aesthetic standpoint and do not remain from year to year. White oaks that have been injured will shed their leaves in the autumn and then return to their full leafy glory the following year as expected.
When autumn arrives, it’s not uncommon to find the leaves of Oregon white oak turning brown and yellow. “The color change can also be caused by normal attacks from other insects, such as gall-making flies and wasps, leaf-mining caterpillars and flies, which come to an end when cold weather arrives,” the Oregon Department of Forestry said in a press release. “The color change can also be caused by normal attacks from other insects.”
According to the department of forestry, brown leaves may also be damaged as a result of squirrels digging for twig-gall grubs.
Oaks and other trees in Oregon have shown signs of stress this year, according to experts, due to the ongoing drought and the hot temperatures. This is a potential additional cause for why their leaves are turning brown earlier than usual.
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What Did the Oregon Department of Forestry Say About Lace Bugs?
The Oregon Department of Forestry has stated that fertilizing trees will not “green up” the damaged leaves of the tree. When you fertilize a tree, the extra nutrients don’t always go to the tree; sometimes they go to the insects that feed on the tree.
Oak lace bugs can bite, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry; however, their bites often only give a moderate sting to the victim. Although they do not actively seek out humans, they sometimes become entangled in tree branches and fall onto people, at which point they may bite.
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