Bark Lice Infestations Alarm Homeowners

Keith Fontenot  |  7/19/2005 1:55:41 AM

Bark Lice infestations on Live Oak tree

The webbing on this live oak is typical of what many homeowners see when Psocids, or bark lice, infest trees. This webbing will show up almost overnight on the trunk and large main limbs of trees. It is camouflage cover for hundreds of tiny insects as they travel up and down trees in the cracks and crevices of the bark, feeding on dust, dirt and other organic matter. The web conceals the bark lice from predatory insects and birds while they go about feeding on organic matter and actually cleaning the tree bark.
These insects pose no threat to the health or vigor of the tree, and no threat to pets or humans. The webbing will disappear as quickly as it appeared, when the insects decide to move on to another tree. If we could order an infestation of these insects in October, their webbing would serve as great Halloween decorations.

For program information or other assistance, contact the Evangeline Parish office of the LSU AgCenter at (337) 363-5646.

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