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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