TX Organic Research Center



Bark Lice

Bark Louse

Bark lice prefer to make their home in the bark of hardwoods,
especially oak trees. (Photo Courtesy of Texas Cooperative Extension)

Common Names:          Bark Louse, plural - Bark Lice

Scientific Name:          Order Psocoptera, family Psocidae

Size:                            Adult - less than 1/4"

Identification: Adult looks a little like brown lacewing. Protective silvery web on the trunks of trees.

Biology/Life Cycle:       Silvery web covers the trunk and limbs of trees in the early fall. It happens very quickly, often overnight. More prevalent in south Texas than elsewhere. Web usually lasts only a few days then disappears.

Habitat:   Limbs of shade trees.

Feeding Habits:  Feeds on fungi, scale, aphids and other insects on tree bark of oaks and other shade trees.

Economic Importance:  Beneficial, feeds on troublesome insects.

Natural Control: Biodiverse gardens.

Organic Control: None needed.

Insight:   Nature will supply these beneficial insects where needed. No need to purchase and release them.

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