Wisconsin is, unfortunately, home to many invasive species. These plants and animals arrive in shipments from across the globe and take over local ecosystems. Without any natural predators, they can be devastating for native flora and fauna. In recent years, an invasive bug known as the emerald ash borer has spread across the state, wiping out many of its ash trees in the process. If your property contains ash trees, you need to be aware of and prepared for a potential ash borer infestation. By watching your trees for signs of stress and calling us at Eliminator Pest Management Co, you should be able to catch the problem early and save them.
Spotting the Signs of an Ash Borer Infestation
Emerald ash borers damage ash trees by burrowing beneath their bark as larvae. There, they chew on the wood through winter before emerging as small green beetles. The structural damage they cause weakens the tree over the course of several years. If the bugs go unnoticed, the tree will eventually die and the beetles will move on to infest more. In this way, the ash borer has spread across much of the Midwest. Both tree-lined city streets and remote forests are at risk.
You can recognize an afflicted ash tree by its signs of general unhealthiness. You may notice dead upper branches and bark that is split or peeling. When you look under this curling bark, you may be able to spot the larvae themselves. For more recent infestations, only the exit holes of the adults will be visible. You might also notice woodpeckers hanging around the tree. They are nearly always a sign that your tree is playing host to some unwelcome visitors.
Recognizing Emerald Ash Borer Larvae
Once you suspect that your ash trees have been compromised, you should have the problem confirmed by a pest control professional. Ash borer larva can be recognized by the wave-shaped paths they leave behind as they graze on a tree's sensitive inner bark. The larvae themselves are typically clustered together. Alternatively, you may see adult emerald ash borers on the move after they emerge and seek a tree to lay their own eggs. Whenever you see an emerald ash borer near your home, it's safer to assume that your trees are already infested.
Eliminating Ash Borers on Your Property
Completely eliminating emerald ash borers on your property can be a challenge. This is especially true for houses near forests where ash grows naturally. It is easier to contain the bugs when you only have one or two trees to worry about. Talk to your pest control service to schedule an assessment of your situation. An expert technician will be able to confirm the presence of ash borers quickly and make recommendations for their removal. In most cases, the larvae are most effectively killed by injecting insecticide into the tree's roots. The toxin passes harmlessly through the tree, but any larvae that bite into its bark are destroyed.
Protecting Your Trees From New Infestations
Even when your trees are free of larvae, they are still vulnerable to future infestations. Look over each tree to judge its health. Trees that appear unlikely to recover should be removed completely, lest they harbor more larvae. Consider replacing any ash trees In addition, be careful moving firewood on or off your property, as this is the ash borer's preferred method to spread. Check your local quarantines to help protect all of Wisconsin's valuable ash trees from this invasive menace. By paying attention and treating your trees in time, you can play your part in halting the spread of the emerald ash borer. Reach out to us at Eliminator Pest Management Co to get started today.