Ask a Question forum: What are these beetles doing to my tree??? Help Please

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NM
rlzamorarlz
Apr 18, 2018 7:02 PM CST
Went to trim this tree today and found an odd substance on my hand after grabbing a branch. Turns out the substance was dead beetles I had just crushed into juice. I don't know what they are and can't find the answer to that question on google. Secondly, along with being insect illiterate I am also plant illiterate so I would call this an evergreen and someone will likely correct me.

What is this insect called? How do I save my tree from these bugs? Should I worry about my dogs as they like to rub up on the tree and sleep under it. Please keep in mind I do not want to harm any pollinators that may happen upon my tree. I joined this association because I want to help the bees and plan on having my own garden and bees eventually.

Any help is much appreciated!
Thank you.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 18, 2018 7:25 PM CST
Yes, your tree is an evergreen and you can add conifer to that description.

How big are your "beetles"? Are they soft bodied? I wonder if they are aphids.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
NM
rlzamorarlz
Apr 18, 2018 7:38 PM CST
I didn't hear a crunch and I smashed quite a few of them. If they were round they would be no bigger 3/16" in diameter. I looked at aphids but didn't find these guys. Doesn't mean that isn't what they are. These things have a distinct white line down their back from head to tail.
Name: Bill
Livonia MI (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Apr 19, 2018 5:27 AM CST
They sound more like a caterpillar of some type. They spread out and feed during the day on the needles of the conifer. Spray them with Bayer's 3in 1 and that should take care of them.
They can be a problem from time to time. Diligence is needed to spot them since they are the same color as the needles they eat.
Children are the messages we send to a time we will never see.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Apr 19, 2018 1:08 PM CST
They aren't aphids or caterpillars, but I don't know what they are. There are beetles that can kill conifers, and that looks like a heavy infestation, so you really need to spray the tree IF you get them identified as beetles. We are loosing millions of conifers a year to some kind of bark beetle in the forests, so please do get them identified ASAP. County Ag., Forestry service, University, or a good nursery would be some places to try.
[Last edited by ctcarol - Apr 19, 2018 1:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Apr 19, 2018 2:12 PM CST
I zoomed in and they don't look like any type of beetle...or anything I could find in my Audubon field guide.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Apr 19, 2018 4:19 PM CST
I don't like how they all have their heads together - probably plotting the take-over of the world. I'm not sure what they are talking about but it tells me they are sucking the life out of your tree. Do you have an Ag Extension or University near by that you could consult? I'm not ruling out aphids yet.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
Plant Identifier
Image
ctcarol
Apr 19, 2018 6:00 PM CST
I agree with Daisy! They don't match any of the many aphids in my field guide, but it's pretty old and they could be a newer import. It would be helpful if you could isolate one and get a clear photo on a white background for Id.
Name: Bill
Livonia MI (Zone 6a)
I measure my wealth in friendships!
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Apr 19, 2018 6:45 PM CST
Saw fly larvae are a type of caterpillar. They start out very tiny and quickly reach 11/2" or so. They are dark green due to the needles they feed on and cluster together when they are young. As they get a little bigger they spread out a bit more. I still think that these are caterpillars and you can knock them off with a sharp stream of water if you are reluctant to spray.
They are not aphids nor are they beetles.
Children are the messages we send to a time we will never see.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 19, 2018 7:11 PM CST
If you look closely zoomed, they don't have the typical cornicles ("tailpipes") of aphids, but there are Giant Conifer Aphids (Cinara) that have the kind of pointy triangle shapes on their rear ends which match, see this one:

https://bugguide.net/node/view...

Some of these go for pines (I think the tree is a two-needle pine?) and at least one has a white stripe down the back like these although I don't think it's an exact match. It would help to get one or two on a white sheet of paper for a photo op so we could see them better.

They are definitely not caterpillars, Bill. Maybe you aren't able to zoom in on your device, but these things have long legs.

Edited to add, this is one of the giant conifer aphids with a white stripe down the back, but it doesn't look as long as that on the ID insects in the first one, the second (also white pine aphid) looks closer:

https://bugguide.net/node/view...
https://www.invasive.org/image...
[Last edited by sooby - Apr 19, 2018 7:22 PM (+)]
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Name: Bill
Livonia MI (Zone 6a)
I measure my wealth in friendships!
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Apr 19, 2018 7:26 PM CST
Okay I think I see that they are triangular in shape but they are too big to be an aphid I think. Probably not caterpillars. They are not beetles but another point comes to mind, why are they on a branch?
Aphids, caterpillars, beetles or what have you, would they be out amongst the newest and softest needles??
Very odd indeed! Grumbling
Children are the messages we send to a time we will never see.
Name: Bill
Livonia MI (Zone 6a)
I measure my wealth in friendships!
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Apr 19, 2018 7:29 PM CST
I looked at your giant conifer aphid. The size listed is "maybe 4mm". Don't they look bigger then that?
Children are the messages we send to a time we will never see.
NM
rlzamorarlz
Apr 19, 2018 7:39 PM CST
Ok so they are not fond of me coming close to them. As I move to pick one of them up they all lift their legs. Any way it was really difficult to grab one without smashing the reddish juice out but I took some more photographs. The one on the paper doesn't have the same markings as the rest of them.
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NM
rlzamorarlz
Apr 19, 2018 7:43 PM CST
Additionally I would say they are 4mm max.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Apr 19, 2018 8:46 PM CST
The one on the paper towel looks like it has wings and is a different shape (long and narrow). How many types of bugs are in your tree?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Apr 20, 2018 4:10 PM CST
They're aphids. Aphids have winged forms and I think that's probably what the one on the paper is.
Name: Scott
Tampa FL (Westchase)
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ScotTi
Apr 20, 2018 4:47 PM CST
I am thinking Cinara Strobi (White Pine Aphids).
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Apr 20, 2018 6:55 PM CST
YEAH!! Three votes for aphids! Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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