6557.    Hi – I have 2 big birch trees and they are covered with soft, tan colored mounds and dried dead bugs all over. I have pics I can send. I have not seen caterpillars or moths. What is this and how can I treat it? I dont want my trees to die. Thanks. George. Toronto, Ont.


Number 6557.  The “dried dead bugs” are the shells’ (exoskeletons) of a cicada (Hemiptera/Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae)’ , likely in the genus Neotibicen (annual/dog-day cicadas). The white filaments are the lining of its breathing tubes (tracheae). The “mounds” could be drying sap exuding from small wounds on the trees. Click here for a video of the molting process.