University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers

Mystery Picture #31

Mystery Picture #31

(Mystery Pictures)(Mystery Pictures)


Many insects attack dead or dying trees. Their activities ensure that the resources in the wood are broken down and recycled. This Roundheaded Wood Borer, one of the long-horned beetles, is commonly found developing in firewood. The legless, white larval stages can be found while splitting logs. The potential for these insects to infest structural wood in the house is very low. They usually attack only certain types of wood, such as hickory or oak. Also, the moisture content of the wood usually has to be much higher that than found in structural wood in the home. Sometimes the adult emerges after logs are brought indoors. They may be seen crawling or flying in the room or accumulating at windows or light fixtures as they move to light. These insects are harmless.


These fuzzy looking Pine Needle Scale insects are pests on pine trees. They are easily recognized by their narrow white waxy covering with a yellow spot at one end. Heavy infestations can give a gray cast to the entire tree and needles may be yellow and stunted. Mugho and Scots pine are most commonly attacked but nearly all needle-bearing conifers can become infested, as well. Whole branches may be killed. Eventually, the entire tree can develop a sickly appearance and may die.

The insects overwinter as red eggs underneath the white covering of the female. The eggs hatch in late April to early May and the mobile "crawler" stage of the first generation moves to feeding sites on the needles. Crawlers do not have a waxy protective covering and are the stage most susceptible to control measures. Once settled, the crawler remains in place and continues development to the sedentary adult stage. To read more about the Pine Needle Scale and other sap-feeding pests, see EntFact 412 -- Common Sap-Feeding Pine Pests

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