Worms in Mesquite Tree

We just heard from a reader in Texas who noticed what appears to be Black Worms around the base of her Mesquite trees. She wrote that the trees are about 10 years old and she has never seen them before. She worries that these creatures might be harmful to the trees, and seeks help on this issue.

We believe she is seeing Placosternus difficilis, more commonly known as Mesquite Borers. These are a native species to Arizona and Texas, and find their home in Mesquite trees. They are a part of the Longhorned Borer Beetle family, but we think she is dealing with the larval form based on the “worm” description. These beetles (and their larvae) feed on dead and dying trees, so our reader should be concerned with the sight of these creatures. There are some chemical options to handle mesquite borers that our reader can learn about at a home improvement or gardening store. She can also speak with a professional about this situation, or contact the local university extension program.

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To end, our reader has found some mesquite borer larvae around her trees in Texas; we hope they don’t cause too much damage to her trees.

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Summary
Worms in Mesquite Tree
Article Name
Worms in Mesquite Tree
Description
We just heard from a reader in Texas who noticed what appears to be Black Worms around the base of her Mesquite trees. She wrote that the trees are about 10 years old and she has never seen them before. She worries that these creatures might be harmful to the trees, and seeks help on this issue.
Author

2 Comments

  1. Jane Lenoir

    I’m also from Texas, a town of about 300, surrounded by mesquite, live-oak and cactus. Right now, about two-thirds of the mesquites in our area , and only the mesquites, have had their leaves skeletonized by small black inchworms. The danged things are even coming into the house. Such fun….
    If the thousands of damaged trees is any indication, I think we are about to have a plague of moths…what is your opinion?

  2. Jane Lenoir

    I’m also from Texas, from a town of 300, and nearly all the mesquite trees in the pastures, along the highways, and in our yards have had the leaves skeletonized by small black inchworms. And they danged things aren’t staying on the trees, either, but coming into the house. They are only eating the mesquites, no other types of trees, but if the number of affected trees is any indication, we are about to have a plague of bugs. I think they will probably be moths…your opinion?

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