2 Insects That Can Damage The Western Larch Tree

The western larch tree is a colorful conifer that makes a great addition to any yard due to its large stature, bright red fruits that attract wildlife, and green needles that turn yellow in the autumn. Keep your western larch tree looking beautiful and healthy for years to come by monitoring the tree for signs of an insect infestation. 

Here are a couple of the insects that can target the western larch tree – and how a pest control or tree services company can help.

Larch Sawfly

Adult larch sawflies resemble grayish green wasps with black heads. The larvae, which are what cause the damage to the tree, are small and off-white with brown heads. Hatched sawfly larvae will eat the needles on the western larch and can cause the tree to look quite bare. The needles will first lighten, then brown, and then fall from the tree as the nutrients are stripped away by the larvae.

Trees can fight off a sawfly infestation on their own. You might still want a tree care service to manually remove the pests or to trim away the affected leaves for cosmetic purposes, but the infestation shouldn't cause any major damage in the long run.

However, a latch sawfly infestation can mimic the signs of several other tree diseases that can be deadly to your western larch. Therefore, always call a tree or pest control service as soon as you see the needles starting to fade so that you can receive an early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Douglas Fir Beetle

The Douglas fir beetle is a small, boring insect that lays eggs in the Douglas fir tree. The larvae hatch and eat through the tree, kicking up a great deal of wood dust and potentially killing the tree once the heartwood is affected. The good news is that while the beetle can attack the western larch tree, the fatal damage is usually restricted to the Douglas fir.

Adult Douglas fir beetles can fly from the fir to the larch and cause damage by snacking on the larch. But the adults don't reproduce on the larch tree, which spares the larch from the truly dangerous feeding habits of the larvae.

You'll still want to call in a tree care or pest control service if you spot any Douglas fir beetles because they can still jump onto other fir trees in the area and potentially kill those trees. Chemical controls and manual removal can rid your tree of the adult pests and keep those pests from doing damage elsewhere.