It’s summer in the Lowcountry, which means more time is being spent outside. Whether you’re basking in the shade, or running around with your kids in the yard, you may expect to encounter all kinds of plants and insects, but if you spot something out of the ordinary, you may be right in suspecting that it does not belong.
South Carolina is home to many invasive insect and plant species. Invasive species are any species that have spread outside of their normal living range, and may cause harm to their new area. Although plants and insects may not cause physical harm to a person, they may endanger native plants and insects that together keep the biosphere in working order.
Here are some of the most common invasive plant and insect species in SC:
- Japanese Honeysuckle- the Japanese Honeysuckle is a vine that produces white and yellow flowers that give of a sweet fragrance. This vine can climb and spread up to 80 feet in thickets that are able to push out any native species.
- Wisteria- Wisteria is a vine notorious for its lavender spring flowers that are capable of climbing, spreading, and spiraling up to 70 feet. Unfortunately its thick growth also makes it potentially deadly for trees and other plants.
- Cogongrass– Cogongrass is an invasive weed that is mostly inedible by animals, can kill native plants, and can be a fire hazard when dried out. Cogongrass can grow up to five feet tall with sharp, pointed leaves and fluffy white seed heads that grow in a tail.
- Fire Ants– not only do fire ants have the potential to sting humans, their venom makes them deadly to other insects and plants. Fire ants cause great damage to fruits and immature crops when feeding, and can even infest electrical boxes and other mechanical equipment damaging the circuiting.
- Ambrosia Beetle– the Ambrosia Beetle looks like a milky white worm in its larvae stage and in adulthood is dull brownish black with wings. The beetles are able to bear through bark and other parts of the tree, where it eats plant sap and other juices that are vital to tree and plant life. Ambrosia beetles are sometimes evident by the patterns of girdling they leave behind.
The effects of these invasive plant and animal species can be detrimental to your yards – and your trees. If you have recently encountered these or any other invasive plant and animal species, you may be wondering if your landscape can be salvaged. Call Baker’s Tree Service today for a risk assessment of your trees. We can help determine their overall health, and what steps need to be taken.