One of my trees has an infestation of small red bugs. See attached close-up...

Asked June 3, 2014, 8:36 PM EDT

One of my trees has an infestation of small red bugs. See attached close-up photo. What are the bugs and will they eventually spread to the rest of my little forest? I've checked a few trees that grow nearby and they don't seem to have these bugs however the trees are different than the bug one: Japanese maples, tulip poplar, dogwood...

Prince George's County Maryland trees and shrubs insect identification red tube-tailed thrips

7 Responses

We believe your insects are Red Tube-Tailed Thrips, (Phlaeothripidae). These insects to not harm the tree. They feed on fungal spores and given the damp spring weather we have experienced, there are probably plenty of fungal spores for them to feed on.

As a follow-up, we would like to have your permission to use the photo you provided of the Red Tube-tailed thrips. We will be happy to give you the credit for the photo. Thank you.

Certainly you may use my photo. I hope to take a better one this weekend. Should I take one that is more in focus and/or has a coin or ruler next to the thrips, would you like that one instead?

That would be helpful, thanks.
If you want photo credit, please let us know whom to credit.

credit to Melina Meshakothanks!

one more photo to share