Gogrowth, your dad has part of the name correct.* They are called twig girdler.* There is also a pest called twig pruner.* The adult is a beetle in both cases.* At the second site you can have the pleasure of looking at photos of the different stages of life.
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.