Ash Borer Beetle InfestationBy: Roxanne Nichols
The emerald ash borer beetle is a small green lawn pest that can cause a big problem for homeowners by, infesting the inner bark of ash trees. As larvae, these exotic beetles feed on the tree’s bark, stunting its ability to transport water and nutrients. Later, adults munch on ash foliage.
Over the past decade, the ash borer beetle has been blamed for killing millions of ash trees nationwide. Early recognition and treatment for the ash borer beetle is key to minimizing their damage and should be a standard part of lawn care for homeowners in the Midwest and East Coast especially.
What Is An Ash Borer Beetle?
True to its name, the emerald ash borer beetle is a bright green, metallic-looking insect roughly half an inch long. The insect is often confused with six-spotted tiger beetles and Japanese beetles. To tell the difference, look at the insect’s shape: An ash borer beetle will have a longer, flattened body and purple coloring beneath its wings.
The ash borer beetle is believed to have arrived in the U.S. in packing material from its native Asia. Over the last decade, these insects have spread to more than a dozen states. Because these insects replicate and spread so quickly, it’s important to spot an infestation early.
Ash Borer Beetle Signs
While the adult ash borer beetle can damage foliage, it’s the ash borer beetle larvae that cause the most destruction by infesting interior bark. Signs of an ash borer beetle infestation include:
- Snake-like lines along a tree’s bark, packed with what looks like saw dust
- D-shaped holes in bark, which are formed when adults emerge
- Increased wood pecker activity; wood peckers often feed on ash borer beetle larvae
Additionally, the ash borer beetle prefers white, green, blue and black ash, but not mountain ash. If you have these species in your lawn, look out for ash borer beetles.
Ash Borer Beetle Treatment
Do-it-yourself ash borer beetle control is difficult to achieve. The insects must be fully eradicated from inside the tree as well as outside. Depending on how many trees are infected and how much, it can quickly become an overwhelming project.
At the first suspicion of ash borer beetle infestation, homeowners should contact a trained pest control expert. They will check for signs like thinning canopy and bark cracks. They also will know the difference between ash borer beetle signs and signs from other insects, like caterpillars.
Acting quickly and working with the best pest control experts can keep your trees healthy and ash borer beetles at bay.