Barklice or Tree Cattel

Subject: Unknown group of bugs
Location: Coastal NC
May 28, 2016 4:55 am
We live on the mainland of Holden Beach, NC. I have never seen this bug but all of a sudden this week I have noticed several clusters of bugs on several of my live oak trees. It is May 28th.
Please help me to identify these creatures. Some clusters are smaller than others. Do I need an exterminator and will they destroy my trees? Some of these clusters are like 8×8 inches. This is creeping me out, I’m not a bug lover, just a bird lover, but yet I havent seen any birds eating them. I wish they would.
Thank you!
Signature: Loretta

Tree Cattle
Tree Cattle

Dear Loretta,
These benign Barklice are sometimes called Tree Cattle because of the large aggregations of winged adults and wingless nymphs that they form on trees with lichen growth.  They feed on the lichens, and they do not damage the trees.  Though we are responding to you on the day you submitted your request, we will not be posting your submission until mid-June while our editorial staff is away from the office.

Thank you Daniel!  I did look at your description of Barklice earlier, but just wasn’t sure.  So glad I asked.  Thank you for your quick response.
Have a good weekend.

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