The Q&A Archives: Thick Webbing Covering Oak Trunk

Question: My Live Oak tree trunk and limbs are surrounded by tightly woven webbing. Underneath this webbing are thousands of very small insects. What could be causing this? Is it harming the tree? And what can I do to treat and eradicate the insects?

Answer: What you are seeing on the trunk of your live oak tree is the webbing caused by bark lice. These insects are not harming the tree and thus do not need to be controlled. They spin the web for protection and feed beneath it on moss and lichens growing on the bark.

Think of them as good guys cleaning up your tree trunks for you! If you cannot stand the look of them, a high pressure spray of water will remove most of them and their webbing. You may need to repeat the water spray periodically.

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