3 Common Wood-Boring Pests That Can Damage Your Trees | Gordon Pro Tree Service

We here at Gordon Pro Tree Service have one goal, and that is to ensure your trees stay healthy and thrive. Tree pests have one goal, as well, and that is to suck the life out of your trees. In this blog post, let’s talk about wood-boring pests. It isn’t that these pests are being malicious; they’re just doing what they need to do to survive. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to offer up your trees as their permanent residences. Here are three common wood-boring pests and how you can identify them.

Long-Horned Beetles

The first common wood-boring insect you’ll find here in Georgia is the long-horned beetle. Long-horned beetles are easy to identify because they have antennae that are longer than their bodies. Specifically, the different types of long-horned beetles found in Georgia trees are the

  • Locust borer, which is about 3/4-inches long and dark brown with yellow-gold markings
  • Cottonwood borer, which is about 11/4-inches long and black, white, and yellow
  • Red-headed ash borer, which is reddish-brown with a yellow “V” on its back
  • Red oak borer, which is 5/8-to-11/8 inches and is reddish-brown
  • Twig girdler, which is 11/16-inches long and grayish-brown

These insects will bore into the wood surfaces on your trees as their names suggest. Their larvae tunnel into the bark and the adults will eat away at the bark and branches. Look for tunnels in your tree trunks and signs of tree damage, such as dead and falling branches and leaves.

Metallic and Bark Beetles

Metallic beetles are flatter than long-horned beetles and have short antennae. Their hard, boat-shaped bodies will shine brilliantly in the sun, and you’ll be taken in by the stunning blue, bronze, copper, or green hues. Bark beetles aren’t as stunning, but you might find the following in your garden:

  • Southern pine beetles, which are active in the summer
  • Ips engraver beetles, which feed off of weakened trees
  • Shothole borer beetles love to attack fruit trees
  • Granulate ambrosia beetles, which love elm, peach, and pecan trees

Signs of these beetles are much the same as long-horned beetles. You might see the larvae burrowing into the bark, and you may also see the tunnels once they’ve been built. Over time, your trees will begin to die because the metallic and bark beetles extract all moisture and nutrition from them.


Finally, certain types of caterpillars are wood-boring insects that love your trees. They will begin boring into your trees in their caterpillar stage and continue to damage your trees and ornamental wood plants when they have changed into moths. Those found in Georgia include

  • Carpenterworms that love ash, black locust, cottonwood, elm, oak, poplar, and willow trees
  • Peach-tree borers that love peach and plum trees
  • Southern pine coneworms that feed on Virginia pines
  • Root collar borers that infest pot magnolias
  • American plum borers that infest woody ornamentals

Don’t let any of these wood-boring pests take the lives of your trees. Call Gordon Pro Tree Service at the first signs of trouble. We service Buford and surrounding Georgia areas.