Stay in the know: Which invasive species can affect your home and landscaping
Invasive species are non-native species that are often destructive to the ecosystem and can also affect your landscaping and home. The most common invasive species that All Green can help to eradicate are Japanese beetles, Emerald Ash Boers, Spongy (Gypsy) Moths, Spotted Lanternfly, Red Imported Fire Ants, and Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs.
Japanese beetles are known for eating plant foliage on garden plants and ornamental landscaping plants. Japanese beetles start their life cycle as grubs in the lawn. The initial signs of an infestation are:
- Brown spots.
- Irregularly shaped dead patches due to the grubs eating the lawn’s root system.
- Increased animal activity in the yard.
- Spongy turf.
Once they pupate into beetles, they will infest garden plants and ornamental plants and destroy the foliage.
Emerald Ash Borers (EAB) are an invasive species from Asia that have killed millions of ash trees in the United States. EABs start their life cycle as a larva that feeds between the sapwood and the bark creating a unique zig-zag pattern. The feeding of the larva cuts off the nutrient supply to the tree and eventually kills it. The first signs of an EAB infestation are yellowing and thinning foliage, shoots or suckers emerging at the base of the tree, increased seed production, D-shaped holes in the bark, and increased insect-eating bird activity.
Spongy Moths (formerly known as Gypsy Moths) caterpillars are probably the most well-known invasive species and can cause immense damage to your trees. The caterpillars decimate tree foliage and create a mess for homeowners with a near-constant shower of feces during their peak months. Spongy Moth caterpillars will most often damage birch, maple, and beech trees.
Spotted Lanternflies are native to China and can be detrimental to many types of fruit trees as well as Maples, Oaks, Pines, Poplars, and Sycamores. The Spotted Lanternfly is a sap-sucking insect that secretes a byproduct from feeding called honeydew which is not only sticky and can coat outdoor surfaces but also promotes the growth of sooty mold, which can interfere with the affected plant’s ability to photosynthesize.
Red Imported Fire Ants are native to South America and have become well-established in the United States. This invasive insect can be harmful to people and pets as they can attack if their nest is disturbed and will leave their victim with hundreds of bites that turn into pustules that can become infected and scar. They are especially dangerous if you have an allergic reaction that can send you into anaphylactic shock.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are an invasive species native to Asia that not only cause damage to crops and some ornamental plants such as Eastern Redbud, Holly, and Mimosa trees but can also invade your home. Though they are harmless to people and pets and do not cause damage to your home, they are a nuisance, and when crushed, they release an unpleasant odor from their abdomen.
All Green can treat for many of these invasive species. If you would like more information, give your local branch a call!