Invasive Insect Species In Tennessee Part 2

Updated October 6, 2019

Beware Of These Invasive Insect Species That Are Coming To Tennessee

With its unique climate, rich open land and buzzing metropolises, Tennessee is a prime habitat for many different types of insects and pests. By knowing what’s buzzing in your backyard, you’ll be better able to determine treatment next steps, and help curb issues before they become full-scale infestations.

Common insects to watch for…


Common to area fruit trees and field crops, the False Codling Moth originated in sub-Sahara Africa and, now, can be found in many warmer climates. Infestations tend to happen every other year. Citrus plants are particularly susceptible—eggs are often laid on the surface of fruit, and they can quickly burrow into the rind, discoloring the fruit and increasing the likelihood of disease and mold.


Those Leek Moths live just 23 days, they can do severe damage in their short lives. These insects tend to impact leeks, onions and other allium plants, destroying everything except their flowers. It can often be hard to combat these moths, because the larvae and pupae tend to hid in the plants they infect—as a result, it’s not uncommon to find multiple generations of Leek Moths in one plant.


Metallic green with two white marks on their interior side, Metallic Beetles have two-year cycles—they hibernate over two winters, with adult flight happening between May and July. Pupae tend to develop in the barks of trees, in chambers hollowed out by the adults—adults that also stay underneath the bark until late spring, burrowing out via D-shaped exit holes.


Though small, Oak Ambrosia Beetles in conjunction with ambrosia fungus can cause massive devastation in oak forests. The beetles start off boring holes into trees, where the male and female mate and create a “gallery”—from here, the female inoculates the surface of that gallery with ambrosia fungus. Larvae feed on this, and emerge in the summer months. By the time they do, the structural integrity of the tree has often been compromised severely.


Pear Leaf Blister Moths start as 5 mm caterpillars that tend to emerge in April. Pests specifically to stone fruit, these spiral-patterned insects tend to show themselves via damage to host plants—tunneling in leaves, for example, delayed shoot growth, lower fruit weight and weakened tree health.


Brown or black and approximately 3 to 5 mm long, Pine Shoot Beetles tend to attack pine trees, stunting their growth and breaking through bark during breeding periods. Common to Christmas tree farms but able to feed on any pine, infestations have been so bad in neighboring states that full-on quarantines have been issued, with experts monitoring the spread year over year.

Check out part one of invasive insect species.

Don’t put your home or family at risk. Get in touch with Foundation Pest Control to discuss your termite treatment options. We’ll help you find the most economical and effective solution for your situation.

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