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Pests of the Bald Cypress Tree

cypress image by Przemyslaw Malkowski from

Bald cypresses are deciduous and long-lived wetland trees that appear alongside streams, rivers, swamps and creeks. The trees can have a lifespan of up to six centuries. Bald cypress trees are native to the Deep South region of the United States, and they are notable for their crowns that are draped with moss, as well as for their buttressed trunks. As with most plants, there are various pests that could be bothersome and damaging to these trees.

Webbed Mites

Webbed mites are small pests similar to spiders in appearance. They are hardly visible to the human eye, and have sucking and piercing mouth parts that they use to feed on the foliage of the bald cypress. Some signs of webbed mites include fine webs surrounding the stems and the needles, as well as pale-colored leaves. The mites tend to attack trees that are experiencing stress, either from drought, heat or pest attack. The mites can be eliminated, in minor cases, by eliminating and destroying the damaged foliage. In more severe situations, an insecticide might be necessary.

Cypress Moths

Cypress moths are also potentially problematic for bald cypress trees. Small female cypress moths tend to attack the trees. These moths are characterized by their fringed wings and yellow color (with some black markings). The larvae of the moths feed upon the leaves. The small worms go into the tissues and around late summer attach the needles together in clusters. It is vital to catch the pests as soon as possible around the end of spring (before the worms gain entry into the webs or the needles). Cypress moths can be handled by leaf removal as well as insecticide use.


Bald cypress trees can also occasionally be prone to scales, particularly female globose scales. The scales go up and down the twigs of the trees, in bunches, towards the end of the spring. These pests can generally be easily eliminated through the use of a horticultural oil spray, according to the University of Alabama.

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