Bark Lice Web Site for Oak Trees

Bark Lice webbing

Bark Lice webbing

Are you seeing a silken web around the trunk and limb of principally Live Oak Trees?  This is a benign insect and actually a beneficial bug called a Webbing Bark Lice, Archipsocus nomas.  This insect, to protect himself from predators, weaves the web so he can feed on Lichen, moss, smaller insects, and fungus from the bark of the tree.  The insect will not bore into the tree nor eat the leaves.  They do not bite or sting mammals that get close to the tree.  Since the web is only around the bark it will not affect the leaves from collecting sunlight for photosynthesis and the transpiration of water.  If the web however it is a nuisance you can use soapy water with some pressure to kill them after brushing the web down.  Plain water will stimulate them to reweb an area.  Be patient and the insect will die in a month and the web will dissipate soon after that.  Save some of the webbing for Halloween.

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