Subject: Weird insect infestation on one of my trees!
Location: Sandton, johannesburg
January 12, 2017 10:07 am
Hi there, one of my small trees in my garden is suddenly covered in millions of black insects varying in size from quite large ( about the size of a cricket) to really small. They appear to have hatched from a muddy nest in the bottom of my bird bath which sits under the tree.
They are really quite scary looking and there are literally hundreds of them just sitting on the branches all of the tree- just need to know if they are in any way dangerous ( to my children or the tree?)
It seems you have multiple different instars or stages of Tip Wilters, True Bugs in the family Coreidae, most likely Carlisis wahlbergi based on research we have done in the past. As their name implies, Tip Wilters cause worts to wilt after the insects use their piercing mouthparts to suck the fluids from the plants upon which they are feeding. While it is possible that a large Tip Wilter might bite a child if it is carelessly handled, they are not considered dangerous. The damage they do to the plants is another story, and large quantities of Tip Wilters, which you seem to have, may stunt the growth of your plants.