Subject: Barklice?
Location: Greenville, SC
September 13, 2015 3:47 pm
I recently discovered a large grouping of insects on one of my trees. The insects are very small and are grouped very tightly together. I would estimate that there are 300-400 insects in this group that I sent a picture of. Apon further investigation I noticed this one grouping was just the tip of the iceberg. From standing at the bottom of the tree I can see about 20-25 additional grouping. In other words the tree is infested with these insects. I am affraid they are killing the tree. I searched the Internet and found a Barklice that look very similar to the insect on my tree. Can you please tell me if this is a Barklice and what I should do to remove it? Thank you very much. I greatly appriciate your help.
Signature: Jason Buckley



Dear Jason,
These are indeed Barklice or Tree Cattle, and they are benign insects that feed on lichens.  They will not harm your tree, however, their presence because of large amounts of lichen and fungus on the tree may signal that the tree is compromised, though not because of the Barklice.  Your individuals look like
Cerastipsocus trifasciatus based on images posted to BugGuide.

Thank you very much. I will leave the these insects alone and have someone inspect the health of our tree asap. We greatly appreciate your help.
Thank you,
Jason Buckley

Location: Greenville, South Carolina

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