Are you looking for more selective herbicide options for annual beds and around shrubs and trees? The Santa Rosa County Extension Office will be hosting guest speaker Dr. Chris Marble from the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research & Education Center on Thursday, May 23. Dr. Marble is a Nationally Renowned Weed Scientist who has published numerous research and extension publications.
2 FDACS CEUs available in LCLM, Limited Lawn & Ornamental, Commercial L&O, O&T, Natural Areas, ROW, or Private Ag.
Pre-registration fee is $15, or $20 registration at the door the day of the event (includes lunch and resources). Pre-register online at Eventbrite Ticket or bring cash, check, or money order to the Santa Rosa County Extension Office, 6263 Dogwood Dr., Milton, FL before May 23. For additional questions, please contact Matt Lollar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-623-3868.
9:30 Registration & Welcome
9:45 Presentation Begins
11:30 Question & Answer w/Dr. Marble
11:45 Evaluation & CEUs
12:00 Lunch & Discussion on Glyphosate Registration
Cattle aren’t really grazing on the trees (this time), but tree cattle (a.k.a. bark lice) are grazing on the trees. The scientific name for tree cattle is Cerastipsocus venosus. Adults have shiny black wings that are held at a sharp angle resembling an old style camping tent or an F-117 Nighthalk stealth fighter. Wingless adults also exist.
The nymphs have an ovate abdomen with dark gray and light yellow banding similar to a honeybee. A related species, Archipsocus nomas, is known to produce unharmful webbing that covers the trunk and branches of trees, but not the leaves.
Tree cattle herd on a crape myrtle. Photo Credit: UF/IFAS Extension.
An F-117 Nighthawk. Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jason Colbert, U.S. Air Force.
These insects are usually seen in a colony containing a mixture of nymphs and adults. Unlike hair lice, bark lice are not parasites and are classified as beneficial insects. Unlike most beneficial insects, they do not feed on other insects. Instead, they clean the bark by eating excess accumulations of fungi, algae, lichens, dead bark, and other nonliving material. Tree cattle are not bark borers and do not eat leaves or living bark.
They are often seen on crape myrtles, but have been reported to graze on oaks and Bradford pears. Bark lice are more prevalent during hot and humid summer months.
Tree cattle are classified as beneficial, therefore no management is required. Because clientele may consider the term beneficial insect to be an oxymoron, it is important to supply supplemental educational materials to back up your claim. Publications are available from Clemson University and Auburn University.