The hemlock woolly adelgid attacks both the Carolina and Eastern hemlock and is capable of severely weakening and killing its host plants. Healthier plants, prior to infestation, may endure longer, but previously stressed plants may die in 3-5 years. The key to its management is to recognize it early and implement the proper management strategies.
The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is a small insect that is closely related to the aphids. Adelgids, are associated with conifers and produce galls and or woolly masses. The HWA only produces woolly masses.
Native to Asia and western North America, this adelgid was first reported in eastern Virginia in the early 1950's and crept into North Carolina. It feeds on both Eastern Hemlock and Carolina Hemlock in Virginia and North Carolina. Since then it has spread to most of the Appalachian region of the eastern United States. There are four forms of this insect. Each form goes through six life stages (egg, four nymphal instars, and adult). As a cool weather species, most development of these stages occurs between October and June. As temperature rises thereafter, the first instar nymphs go into a dormant stage. Eggs are laid by adult adelgids the following February or March. Most eggs develop into wingless adults that remain on the hemlock tree.
There are several treatment options available for hemlock woolly adelgid. Fill out the form of this page or contact our office to consult with an arborist today!