Mesquite Pest Solutions – How To Deal With Pests Of Mesquite Trees

Mesquite Pest Solutions – How To Deal With Pests Of Mesquite Trees

Many shrubs and trees that might have once been considered giant weeds are making a huge comeback as landscape plants, including the mesquite tree. This scrubby tree can be a beautiful addition to a xeriscape or other low-water garden in areas where rainfall is scarce. Not only are they easy to care for once established, they have very few disease problems and suffer from only a few mesquite tree pests. Even so, it’s important to know what to watch for in order to give your tree the best care possible over its lifetime. Read on to learn more about bugs that eat mesquite.

Common Pests of Mesquite

Even the toughest of plants has a few pest insects that will crop up from time to time. The mesquite tree is no exception. When your mesquite gets a bit buggy, you’ll need mesquite pest solutions! If you already know what type of infestation you have and how to handle it, it’ll make your battle much easier. Be on the lookout for:

Sap-sucking insects. Sap-sucking insects are more of a nuisance than a serious problem of mesquite, but it’s important to know their call signs. In mesquite, mealybugs and armored scale are the most common. Mealybugs will be obvious, as they leave fluffy, waxy debris in their wake. This white material often collects in twig crotches, looking a little like new fallen snow. Armored scale are a bit more challenging because they can be masters of camouflage. Often, they’ll appear as a series of unusual bumps or growths on your plant, but when you cut into the growth, you’ll find it’s a plate that you can lift and a small, soft bodied insect is inside. Both can be dispatched with repeated applications of neem oil.

Mesquite twig girdler. If your tree is developing patches of dead tips or branches, you may have a twig girdler. These insects cut channels near the ends of stems and deposit their eggs inside. Because their activity cuts the end of the branch or twig off from valuable water and nutrient supplies, it dies. It sounds pretty serious, but the truth is that these are minor cosmetic problems at the worst. Girdlers don’t attack healthy trees, as they’re attracted to trees in distress. So, if you’re seeing them, you need to pay closer attention to your tree’s needs.

Borers. The most destructive pests of mesquite are also the hardest to detect. In fact, you may not realize you have a problem until it’s far too late to do anything about it. But take heart, if your tree is in good health, the chances are good that borers won’t be attracted to it in the first place. These insects bore holes deep into limbs and trunks, lay their eggs and then die. When larvae emerge, they begin to chew their way through the surrounding wood, causing stress on the tree.

Foliage may become discolored or wilted, or entire branches wilt and die suddenly. There’s no effective way to control borers except to remove infected tissue and destroy it immediately. Proper care of the tree to bring it back to health may save it, but if borers are in the trunk, your best bet is to cut the tree down and begin again.

Giant mesquite bugs. A common sight in desert landscapes, particularly on mesquite trees, are the colorful giant mesquite bugs. If you spot them on your mesquite tree, don’t panic. Although the adults like to feed on mesquite seed pods, while the immature bugs eat the tender parts of the plant, these insects generally do not cause any significant damage and are deemed harmless.


Termites are a great source of protein, and since they live most of their lives buried away in wood, they are less likely to carry parasites than other insects. Mature adult termites have wings and can fly. The other stages (larvae, workers, soldiers, nymphs, queens, etc) can’t fly, so they’re easier to snag. In some cultures, termite queens are regarded as a delicacy. Who knew you could eat like royalty while eating insects?

Termites are a great source of protein, and since they live most of their lives buried away in wood, they are less likely to carry parasites than other insects. Filipe Fortes / Flickr

How to Catch Them

When and Where: Termites love wood. It’s their main food source. So crack open a cold log, and collect your dinner.

What You Need: Hands

Method: Break open a punky log and grab them or shake them out fast. As soon as they see light, they’ll crawl deeper into the wood.

How to Eat Them


After treatment has completed, tree borers should no longer be infesting your tree but you will need to make sure they do not reinfest. Here are some practices we suggest:

Replacing the tree

If the damage of the tree is quite extensive the only way to take care of the infestation is to remove the whole tree from its roots and replace it with new one. Replanting a new one and protecting it with preventive treatments of Sylo Insecticide and Dominion 2L may be the only way to control the damage.

Mulching around the tree

Place mulch, supplemental water and fertilizers around the tree at times it helps in preventing the tree borers from causing harm to the tree. This will help in controlling the damage being caused by borers. Use proper organic compost and fertilizers that are nitrogen-free. Clean up all the debris.

Pruning the trees

It is best to cut off the branches and nearby mulches, grass, and cut all the unwanted decayed leaves and branches as short and trim as possible. It will make it unappealing and more difficult for the tree borers to infest a trimmed tree.

While pruning cut off the infected branches, the crossed branches and cut the branches laterally 6 inches deep till you reach the disinfected portion of the branch. Dip cloth in alcohol and rub it all over the cuts and trunk it prevents re-infestation from occurring. Plant other flowers during winter to avoid attracting the borers and keep the borers away.

Sealing with pruning paste

Apply or fill the cuts and from the pruning with prune paste. A batch of old paint tree antiseptics, petroleum and diatomaceous earth-based products all can be used as prune paste. Sealing the saps and cuts heals the wounds of trees more quickly and prevents the tree borers from entering inside the trunk to damage the trunk.

Watch the video: Emergency Pest Control Mesquite TX