If you have been taking care of your property’s trees, garden, or lawn this spring, you might have encountered a few insects already. One pest that Maryland homeowners are familiar with are cicadas in their trees. Although annual cicadas are very common in our area, Magicicada periodical cicadas are the very-invasive species that populate every 17 years – and they’re coming back to Maryland this summer.
While we have already begun to find larvae and discarded wings while maintaining trees and landscapes, there is a lot more for you to do to prepare for these cicadas to keep your trees safe. Read on to learn more!
What Cicadas do to Your Property’s Trees
Cicadas are one insect that will not inhabit trees for the purpose of feeding on them. Instead, they prefer the tree’s branches and roots. Both annual and periodical ones dig holes or slits in the tree branches in which to lay their eggs. These slits will injure your tree, and instead of healing as time passes, they frequently tend to weaken the branches, causing them to break off, wither, or die as time passes.
Tree and grassroots have long been the primary food source for young and developing cicadas. Once the eggs hatch, the newborns make their way to the tree’s root system, where they then feed for years: two to three years for the annual cicadas and 13 to 17 years for periodical cicadas.
Common Tree Species for Cicadas to Inhabit
Adult cicadas prefer laying and nesting their eggs in branches about ¼ to ½ in diameter, so trees with thicker branches are usually not inhabited by these pests. Tree species in Maryland that provide the preferred-sized branches for cicadas to lay their eggs in include:
- Maple trees
- Oak trees
- Hawthorn trees
- Cherry trees
- Pear trees
- Redbud trees
You might come across them in younger trees of other species, as those developing tree branches are in the early stage of growth and thus provide enough branch size for them to nest correctly.
Keeping Cicadas out of Your Property’s Trees
Mature trees might be successful in healing from smaller cicada damage, so it is the younger trees you have to look out for the very most. Tree pruning is a very effective way to reduce the risk of lasting damages. A professional tree care company or certified arborist can remove any affected branches within weeks of cicadas laying eggs to remove them before they hatch.
Tree Care and Maintenance from Harford Tree
Ready to have the beautiful yard you have always dreamed of? Harford Tree Experts & Landscaping, Inc has been in the business for decades, providing customers with quality work and quick responses all at the right price. We service the areas of Harford County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City areas including Bel Air, Fallston, Perry Hall, Towson, Essex, Parkville, White Marsh, and Middle River. For service during business hours, reach out to us or give us a call at 410-592-7321. We offer 24/7 emergency service as well, just give us a call at 443-250-6649. For updates about our business and more informative tips, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.