Asian Gypsy Moth

The Asian gypsy moth (AGM), named for its home continent, is a voracious pest of trees that poses a major threat to forest habitats in North America.

The Balsam Woolly Adelgid

The balsam woolly adelgid is a tiny insect that has made a major impact on the dark, cool forests of Fraser fir on the highest mountain peaks of western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia. Native to central Europe, the balsam woolly adelgid has now spread throughout eastern and western North America. It attacks all true firs, including Fraser fir, which is the dominant Christmas tree species produced in western North Carolina.

Butterflies in Your Backyard

Butterfly watching, though unlikely to match the widespread popularity of bird watching, has gained significant favor in recent years. Butterflies are colorful, diverse, abundant, and active during the day in warm months, making them an ideal pursuit for wildlife watchers. In fact, wildlife watching as a whole, given impetus by the increased awareness of regional and ecological diversity, has become one of this country’s fastest-growing outdoor recreational activities.

Eastern Subterranean Termite

The eastern subterranean termite is the most destructive of the insects that feed on wood and cellulose products in the United States.

Elm Spanworm

The elm spanworm is a native insect that has intermittently caused serious damage to trees in the United States and Canada for over a century. The spanworm attacks a wide variety of plants, including forest, shade, and fruit trees. It causes severe defoliation in hardwood forests. There have been at least 20 major outbreaks in eastern North America.

Forest Management Strategies to Minimize the Impact of Gypsy Moth

Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) is an exotic insect that was introduced into the United States (Boston, MA) in 1869 from Europe as part of a silk-making experiment. Some larvae escaped and the moth spread throughout New England. Today the moth has migrated west and south to the Midwest (Ohio), the Lake states (Michigan and Wisconsin), the Mid-Atlantic states and through the southern Appalachians in Virginia and North Carolina.

Gypsy Moth Management for Homeowners

Soon, the gypsy moth will become a household word in Tennessee. This obnoxious new neighbor will be eating its way through our hardwood forests, leaving some forests bare.

Hummingbirds and Butterflies

Backyards and other small areas may have a limited value when managing for larger species like deer, but they are extremely valuable for many other species. With planning and a little work, these areas can easily be managed to benefit nectar-seekers such as hummingbirds and butterflies. By promoting plant species and habitat components that are beneficial to hummingbirds and butterflies, you can insure their colorful presence. This publication highlights key steps to protect and provide the important habitat areas needed by hummingbirds and butterflies.

Identification and Biology of Southern Pine Bark Beetles

Bark beetles are the most destructive insects affecting pines in the southern United States. Greatest losses occur in loblolly and shortleaf pine stands, although most of the 11 native pines in the South are attacked. To be effectively dealt with, any pest (or pests) must first be identified. This handbook provides the reader with information to distinguish between the five southern pine bark beetle species based on symptoms of attack, adult appearance, and differences in life cycles and behaviour.

Imported Fire Ants: An Agricultural Pest and a Human Health Hazard

Imported fire ants were accidentally introduced to the United States. The black imported fire ant was brought to Mobile, AL, in 1918. The red imported fire ant arrived in the 1930s. Since then, they have become established across the South and in parts of California and other Western States. These pests pose serious threats to people, small animals, and agricultural equipment. As these insects spread northward and westward, more people are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for advice about how to manage imported fire ants. This factsheet answers several frequently asked questions.

The Locust Borer

The locust borer is a native insect. Its original range probably coincided with that of its host tree, the black locust.

The North Carolina Forest Service Forest Health Handbook

The North Carolina Forest Service Forest Health Handbook describes some of the most important and/or common forest insects and diseases that damage trees in North Carolina. The main purpose of this manual is to provide basic information on threats to forest health, guidance in diagnosing tree disorders, and pest management recommendations. It is not intended as a final reference when dealing with any of the pests described. Rather, it should serve as a training aid and introductory text for those unfamiliar with the forest entomology and pathology fields, and as a quick reference guide for specific insect and diseases problems.

Pine Insects, Diseases, and Wildfire

Potential losses to insect and disease pests and to wildfire are a major concern of the forest landowner and manager. Wildfires bum over one million acres of southern forests each year. While damage by wildfire is sudden and spectacular, it is not nearly as extensive as losses caused by insects and diseases. Losses caused by forest pests in the South exceed 3 billion cubic feet annually.

Scale Insects

Scale insects are a peculiar group and look quite different from the typical insects we encounter day to day. Small, immobile, with no visible legs or antennae, they resemble individual fish scales pressed tightly against the plant on which they are feeding. There are over l50 different kinds of scales in Virginia. Many are common and serious pests of trees, shrubs, and indoor plants.

Southern Pine Beetle

The southern pine beetle is one of pine's most destructive insect enemies in the Southern United States, Mexico, and Central America

The Southern Pine Beetle

The Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) inhabits Tennessee forests, and as forest landowners, we should be prepared to deal with the insect. Each year SPB causes thousands of dollars worth of damage to stands of Southern yellow pines, e.g., Loblolly, shortleaf and Virginia pines. Landowners living near or on their property can reduce losses to SPB by knowing the symptoms of a SPB attack, what to do about it and how to prevent it.

Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in North Carolina

Ticks have long been pests of humans and animals in North Carolina. From the larval to the adult stages, ticks attach to a living host and feed on the host’s blood. In doing so, they may transmit germs that cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease, both of which can have serious consequences for humans. This publication will help you identify the several species of ticks found in North Carolina and the diseases they transmit. It also describes ways you can protect yourself from ticks outdoors and control ticks in your home.

Tips for Hemlock Tree Owners

If you own a hemlock tree, chances are very high that at some point in the near future, you will have an unwelcome visitor to your landscape. This ‘visitor’ is far from its native Asia and is known as the ‘hemlock woolly adelgid’. The hemlock woolly adelgid is a small but dangerous insect that has the potential to kill a 100-year-old hemlock tree in only four to five years.


The walkingstick is a defoliator of deciduous trees in North America.

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