I have a royal empress tree and some beetle looking guys and some ants are...

Asked October 10, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT

I have a royal empress tree and some beetle looking guys and some ants are crawling about and eating the leaves. What kind of insecticide should we get?

Tom Green County Texas

1 Response

Hello,

I'm not familiar with any pests specific to the royal empress tree, if you would like to upload a photo here or email one to aewatkins@ag.tamu.edu I could have a more specific recommendation. But I would bet that the beetles are the ones causing the damage; ants often crawl around on trees and most don't cause direct damage. Only leafcutter ants will chew on tree leaves, and they aren't as common. Beetles that chew on leaves are more common though, and a systemic insecticide like imidacloprid should help (one trade name is Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Insect Control). You just apply it to the ground and water in, and it gets absorbed through the roots.

And here's a link with info on leafcutter ants just in case: http://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/landscape/ants/ent-1002/

Hope this helps,
~Allison