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Professional Insect & Mite Management Guide for Woody Plants

Welcome to UMass Extension's Professional Insect & Mite Management Guide for Woody Plants!

Using This Guide

This guide is intended for use by professional land managers, including but not limited to: landscapers, arborists, urban and community foresters, tree wardens, local, state, and federal land managers, grounds keepers, and any landscape practitioner who is managing the health of trees and shrubs.

While we acknowledge that private property owners and homeowners may look to this guide for information, it is highly recommended that they consult with a licensed and trained professional prior to attempting any of the management suggestions found here. Professionals in your area can be found by searching the member directories available online of many professional associations, including but not limited to: MA Arborists Association, International Society of Arboriculture, MA Association of Landscape Professionals, and the MA Nursery and Landscape Association.

Additionally, anyone managing a tree or a shrub for the production of a food crop (fruit, sap for syrup production, etc.) should check insecticide label instructions carefully and make sure the product selected is labeled for use on a tree or a shrub being managed for food production. Recommendations for orchards, home orchards, berry production, sap for syrup production, or any other food crops are not a part of this guide. Some insecticides cannot be applied to trees or shrubs whose fruits or berries are being collected for food, or impact when harvesting can be completed. Follow all label instructions carefully. 

While the authors of this guide did their best to compile the relevant and available scientific information for the insect and mite pests listed here, please note that the information provided is by no means complete. Also note that scientific information and the data available changes rapidly, along with state and federal regulations. While this guide attempts to provide an overview of the information needed when managing the species included here, further research and understanding by the user is necessary. 

UMass Extension wants to hear from you! Please complete this brief survey after you use the Professional Insect & Mite Management Guide to provide us with valuable feedback. Your feedback will be used to prioritize updates to this resource now and in the future: .

How Did We Choose the Species Found Here?

The insects listed in this guide are a compilation of pests of trees and shrubs that are frequently asked about, observed, or potentially historically reported to UMass Extension. A foundational list of species was included from a 2008 (print only) version of the Professional Management Guide for Insects, Diseases, and Weeds of Trees and Shrubs in New England (contributing entomology authors: Robert Childs and Craig Hollingsworth).

This current version of the Professional Insect & Mite Management Guide for Woody Plants has been updated to focus solely on insect pests and their relatives. It includes updates for invasive (non-native) insects as well as native species that have more recently become a concern in Massachusetts and other areas of New England and New York. The host plants listed for these species are those that have been found in a brief review of recorded literature, and do not necessarily represent records of these pests on those specific hosts in Massachusetts.

This guide has also been updated to include information about growing degree days (if available), host plants, insect/pest descriptions, host plant damage, monitoring, cultural management, natural enemies & biological control, as well as chemical management options. It is also now searchable by pest scientific name, common name, and host plant(s).

A note about insect and plant scientific and common names: the scientific and common names listed within are accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time the information was gathered. Names change frequently.

Helpful Considerations

Users of this guide are urged to recognize that the management of insect and mite pests of trees and shrubs can, at times, be incredibly complicated. As landscape practitioners, often managing pest populations below levels that are damaging to the overall health of the host plant is our primary goal.

Completely eradicating a pest population is often not practical, too expensive, or unnecessary with a few notable exceptions. On average on ornamental woody plants, managing the overall health of the plant should be the main goal.

It is highly recommended that preventative plant health care options be the priority when managing insect pests. Often, preventing and reducing host plant stress can vastly reduce the effects of pest pressure and thus reduce dependency on insecticides and other pesticides.

Users of this Guide are encouraged to prevent pest insect pressure by: selecting the right plant for the right location, follow proper planting and installation best practices, reduce abiotic or other biotic stressors through proper plant maintenance, avoid unnecessary injury to trees and shrubs (which is often attractive to secondary insect invaders), and avoid planting trees or shrubs with a known significantly damaging insect pest (such as invasive insects lethal to the tree currently in a regional or national outbreak). 

UMass Extension works to educate practitioners on responsible pest management within an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) framework. This is a holistic, science-based approach to pest management. Practicing IPM means combining a wide array of available tools for pest management to reduce costs and dependency on pesticides, as well as potential for risks to people and the environment. For more information about Integrated Pest Management, visit: .

An important part of IPM is learning about, recognizing, and conserving beneficial insects and natural enemies. The vast majority of insects on planet earth are not pests, and many of them provide crucial ecosystem services including but not limited to: pollination, decomposition, predation and parasitism of pest insect populations, and act as food for other non-insect wildlife.

Land management practices that promote insect populations, where and whenever possible, are highly encouraged. For example, if a species of insect discussed within this Guide is noted as producing only aesthetic damage to its host plants (not damage to the overall health of the tree or shrub) it should be tolerated.

Another important part of IPM includes, when chemical management is deemed necessary, choosing the most effective but reduced risk chemical management option available. These considerations often need to be made with knowledge of the potential for environmental health and human health risks, water quality protection best practices, and conservation of non-target organisms in mind. 

For more information about pesticide registrations in Massachusetts, as well as pesticide licensing and regulation, visit:

MA Department of Agricultural Resources Pesticide Program:

Registered Pesticides in Massachusetts:

For more information about pesticide active ingredients, modes of action, and risks to pollinators and other non-target organisms, visit: .

Need an insect pest of a tree or shrub identified? Submit a sample to the UMass Plant Diagnostics Laboratory:

Notes on the Search Functions Provided in this Guide

Users of this guide should be aware of potential limitations with the search functions provided with this Guide.

Insect scientific and common names change frequently, and often there are multiple names that refer to the same insect. This is especially relevant with common names, however it is possible that previously accepted scientific names are still being widely used to talk about insects that have recently been reclassified. If the search is not yielding an insect you would expect to find in this guide, try using a different name combination.

While the author made a best effort to include all potentially known host plants of each insect discussed within, some may have been missed. Host plant lists are frequently disputed in the scientific literature, and often further research is needed. Host plant common and scientific names also change frequently, with multiple names that may refer to the same tree or shrub. Trying different combinations of host plant names may aid in increasing the sensitivity of the search as well. Be as specific as possible when searching by host plant. For example, a search for "fir" may yield a list of insects found on either true firs (Abies spp.) or Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii).

Finally, when searching by growing degree days, users of this Guide should know that this search function is currently being tested and improved. The recommended way of using this function is to enter in the current growing degree day range for your location. You must enter in growing degree days for your area calculated using a simple average model, base 50°F, March 1st start date, for this search to yield the most accurate results.

Growing degree day information can be found using the Landscape Message or other regional resources that calculate growing degree days using the same model. Entering in the current growing degree day measurement for your location should yield a list of potential insects that may be active or able to be managed at that time.

Users should be aware that growing degree day ranges for pests are often disputed in the scientific literature, and multiple ranges may be offered by different authors for the same pests. These ranges may also be calculated using a wide variety of mathematical models, base temperatures, or calendar start dates. For this search to be most effective, follow the instructions above.

Lastly, growing degree day ranges for pest activity are currently not available for every single insect discussed in this Guide, nor each life stage's activity window. A best effort to include as much information as could be collected regarding pest growing degree day ranges was made.

Over time, the author hopes to improve the sensitivity of the growing degree day search function. If when using the growing degree day search function a common pest of the host plant you are managing does not appear, try searching for the insect using either the common or scientific name of the insect or host plant of concern to improve the search.


Pesticide Disclaimer: 

All pesticides referenced in this guide have been registered and approved for indicated uses according to the best available information at the time of posting. However, local, state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to pesticides are subject to change. Pesticide applicators are advised to stay current with laws and regulations governing pesticides and their use.

It is unlawful to use any pesticide in any manner other than the registered use. It is the responsibility of the applicator to verify the registration status of any pesticide for the intended use before applying it.

Some pesticides referred to in this guide may be classified “for restricted use only” in accordance with federal and/or state regulations. Persons using “restricted use” pesticides must be licensed and certified applicators.

When using pesticides, users are further cautioned to read and strictly follow all directions on the pesticide label. The pesticide label is the law. In the event that current pesticide label information is in conflict with information contained on this web site, the label shall take precedence.

Use Disclaimer: 

The information in this guide is not presented as recommendations, but rather as research-based knowledge intended to help practitioners make informed decisions. The content authors make no guarantees and assume no liability as to the efficacy of outlined practices or listed materials. The user of this information assumes all risks and liability for personal injury and property damage.


Read our full web resource disclaimer at

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University of Massachusetts, Amherst, undergraduate student assistance on the production of this guide is greatly appreciated. We would like to thank Amanda Backstrom, Caroline Schelleng, and Paige Brown for their diligent contributions. 

Evonne Gong, Web Designer/Online Strategist for the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, has also been instrumental in making this guide possible.

Tawny Simisky, Extension Entomologist with UMass Extension's Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Program has worked to compile the content within, leaning heavily on the contributions of countless entomologists in the scientific community.