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Walking Stick Insect Infestation

October 02, 2017  •  2 Comments

I have been spending time at my place in the Ouachita National Forest here in Arkansas. The leaves will soon be turning and I wanted to try and capture some of the fall colors.

It seems like the numbers of Walking Stick Insects around my place has been increasing each year. I will see 10 or more just on my deck. I read that these insects prefer foliage from the oak tree which I have in this area. This concerns me because, in heavy infestations, it can denude a stand of oak trees.

They are leaf skeletonizers, eating the tissues between the leaf veins, pausing for a while and then walking on to new leaves. They can feed at any time of day, but the greatest feeding activity has been noted between nine PM and three AM. Early-stage nymphs are often found on American hazel and black cherry, but where these are scarce, often choose white oak. Older individuals are often found on black oak. Another food tree is the black locust. Adults are present in August and September in the northern part of the range, but because of their tendency to feed high in the canopy, the insects are seldom seen. (Source: Wikipedia)


Walking Stick Insect - 093016-3883Walking Stick Insect - Arkansas




Marilyn Kircus(non-registered)
I camped in the Ouichitas maybe thirty years ago. We got into an infestation of walking sticks and had then covering the tables, trying to get into our tents, and getting crushed under our feet. It was creepy, even thouogh we knew they only ate oak leaves.
Greg Topp(non-registered)
Quite interesting. These insects are rare around here. Also of note, of the many gray squirrels that disappeared the first week of August, I now have four grays that have returned! Hopefully, more will come back.
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