Now to get someone to pick it up for me. And, . . . .that someone would be me.
I started picking up all of these nice pencil-sized shellbark hickory limbs thinking they would make good fire starter.
|Shellbark hickory limbs|
My good friend, Cecil (yes, someday I will write about him but I can't do him justice in my blog. . he is a one-of-a-kind) informed me that it was the Twig Girdler beetle. Ack!
The Twig Girdler is simply trying to complete its life cycle in my trees. The adult beetle emerges in late August-October to feed on the bark near the ends of the branches. The adult lays its eggs during the cutting process and the twigs are girdled because the larvae are unable to survive in living twigs.
The small larvae hatch and overwinter in the dead twig and when spring arrives, the larvae grow rapidly. They migrate to the end of the twig where they transform into a beetle in 14 days! This happens usually in August and thus there is only one generation a year. That is the good news.
The bad news is insect control is difficult since the larvae are protected in the twig. The best method of controlling these creepy crawlies is to accept the problem, rake up all terminal branches (remember there are some still hanging in the trees) and burn them. Ah, ha! A fire after all!