What It Is
Here’s one lice that won’t make you loose your hair. Bark lice (archipsocus nomas) is commonly seen making happy homes in Missouri City trees during the warm, summer months. Most commonly noticed on live oaks, people usually identify this insect by its wide-spreading, silky web that can cover large areas of trunks and branches. The insect itself is very small (less that 1/8-inch long) and live in colonies underneath the web. The web protects the insects from predators.
What It Does
Don’t let this insect scare you, it has a beneficial job to do on your tree. Texas A&M's Agrilife Extention service explains that bark lice can clean your tree by eating fungi, algae, dead plant tissue, and dead insects. They even consume their own web at the end of the season. How’s that for great service!
How to Treat It
Though these insects won’t harm humans, pest, or trees, some folks dislike the appearance of the web. Texas Agrilife Extension explains that spraying soapy water or insecticide on the web areas can kill the bark lice. Breaking the web or spraying with just water might instigate the insects to rebuild an even bigger web.