Another week, another pest to review. Do you know what cicadas actually do when they come out of the ground and chirp from your trees? How bad is the extent of their damage? Find out!

What Exactly Do Cicadas Do to Trees?

Cicadas are a well-known invader during the summertime that most everyone could do without. This red-eyed species makes its trademark cry from all around you in this season and may leave their shed skins all over your yard. However, “if you hear or see cicadas in your yard, are they just annoying, or can they do damage?”

As you know, there are some types that you will hardly see, because they only come out from under the ground every 13 or 17 years. Unfortunately, there are also cicadas that visit every year, like flowers returning to their favorite beds with each spring. These noisy bugs can be a big nuisance, though, because of the way that they lay their eggs.

Though cicadas don’t eat your trees or undertake some of the harmful actions of other invasive species, they do “create slits in tree branches to lay their eggs.” Naturally, any cuts to the tree can result in disease and decay over time, so it’s harmful to leave them be to continue this behavior. Branches that are in danger of breaking are also a threat to your own safety and could fall to break property.

Something else that is concerning – brace yourself – is the damage done by the eggs once they’ve hatched. Those young cicadas will go back underground with the other “hundreds or thousands,” all of which will them munch on tree roots. Obviously, this is a huge problem for the tree, who needs a healthy and functional root system in order to stay healthy.

A decently-easy fix to protect the branches of your young trees is to use a kind of mesh netting to cover them and prevent access. That’s preventative, though, and may not help you out at the moment if there is already damage. Luckily, more mature trees can typically stand up to this kind of damage and will be fine once the bugs have come and gone. With younger species, though, you may need to remove (prune) affected branches to prevent further damage… and to stop the eggs from reaching the roots.

To get a recommendation as to how to deal with cicadas, or to have a pro arborist come and take care of the situation, get in touch with Keil Tree Experts and we will send one of our arborists out to your property to assess your needs.