1An adult or larval insect which strips all the leaves from a tree or shrub.
- Insecticides kill insect defoliators and vectors of deadly human diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, plague, and typhus.
- The caterpillars of the gypsy moth are destructive defoliators that feed primarily on oak trees causing growth loss, crown dieback, and tree mortality.
- The spruce budworm is a major insect defoliator of forests in northeastern North America, with balsam fir and white spruce figuring as the most vulnerable species.
2A machine that removes the leaves from a root crop.
- Another invention at Hughs's lab, a two-row prototype thermal defoliator, offers hot air as an alternative to chemicals for removing cotton leaves before harvest.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: de|foli|ator
Definition of defoliator in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.