Many residents of South Florida have gorgeous Royal Poinciana trees in their yards. They’re fast growing trees that can get as tall as 50 feet, and can grow even wider than they are tall, especially when they are in full bloom. The tree is loved by many and there is a little-known problem affecting many of the trees that can kill your beloved Royal Poinciana’s if you don’t know about it and take action.
Royal Poinciana Tree Pests
A relative of the cutworm, the Royal Poinciana Tree Caterpillar (Melipotis acontiodes) is a nocturnal pest that climbs the tree trunks at night to eat the leaves. The caterpillars grow about 1 ¼ inch long in a few weeks’ time and crawl like an inchworm. They spin layers of thread on the branches. If your tree becomes victim to this pest, you can see thousands of these caterpillars climbing the tree when the sun goes down!
When the caterpillar is disturbed it will spring its body backwards instead of just falling to the ground. Their droppings will stain concrete or other surfaces. This pest does not seem to be a problem for other plants or to animals.
How to Protect Your Trees
Unfortunately, if you have thousands of caterpillars on your Poinciana tree trunks, you probably need the help of a pest control professional. If you catch the problem very early on, you may be able to use a burlap or similar material to wrap around the tree at night. In the morning, soak the wrap in a soapy solution to kill the caterpillars. If this method does not work and the caterpillars return each night and start increasing in numbers, you will need to call a professional pest control company like Nozzle Nolen to eliminate the problem for you.
With a call to Nozzle Nolen we can come out and inspect your trees and help you determine the appropriate course of action to protect the trees and eliminate the infestation. Nozzle Nolen offers a number of lawn care options to help you with a number of pests that may invade your South Florida home. Let Nozzle Nolen protect your home today.