An important aspect of lawn care is keeping your trees and shrubs healthy and free of destructive pests. One of the most destructive pests is the invasive beetle, the emerald ash borer . Emerald ash borers were introduced into North America accidently in the 1990’s and have since spread to destroy millions of ash trees and cause over $3 billion in annual damages across the U.S. and parts of Canada. These beetles specifically attack ash trees so if you have ash trees on your property, you can benefit from the tree and shrub care program offered with our lawn care services.
Early identification of an emerald ash borer infestation is the key to minimizing the potential damage they can cause. Here are some things to look for that may be indications of an infestation.
- Adult emerald ash borers are metallic green in color with slender bodies and grow to about half an inch in length.
- Adults feed on foliage, leaving it visibly damaged.
- Emerald ash borer eggs can be found between layers of bark.
- Presence of woodpeckers could indicate an infestation as they feed on the larva.
- Sapwood under the bark has S-shaped tunnels where the larva has eaten the wood.
Female emerald ash borers lay their eggs in ash tree trunks between layers of bark in the mid to late summer. Their eggs are initially white but turn amber in color after a few days and they generally hatch within two weeks. The larvae immediately begin feeding on the sapwood upon hatching and leave trails bored into the wood. They can be identified by their long, segmented creamy white bodies and brown mouth parts and they go through four developmental stages before reaching their pre-pupae stage.
In the fall, the fully developed ash borer larvae begin their pre- pupae stage in which they develop into pupae through winter and into adults by the spring. The adult ash borers emerge from the bark in May by chewing through the outer layer and leaving a D-shaped hole. They feed on the leaves of the ash tree and begin mating about a week after emerging from the bark. Within a few weeks of mating, the female ash borer lays its eggs in the bark.
Throughout the life cycle of the emerald ash borer, there is never a point where they are not a threat to ash trees. The larvae eat the sapwood under the bark as the adults continue to feed on the leaves until the fall. The damage they cause leaves ash trees in a weak and dying state in which the canopy is destroyed and the limbs and branches start to fall off. However, emerald ash borers can be controlled with proper tree and shrub applications. The tree and shrub treatments offered by Green T Lawn Care are administered in six rounds throughout the season to effectively control and prevent emerald ash borer infestations.