3 Things You Need To Know About Emerald Ash Borer

Now that spring is finally here, it's time for insect pests to make their appearance once again in outdoor living spaces all across the country. If you've got ash trees on your property, you may be experiencing consternation due to the possibility of emerald ash borer attacking your trees. This insect scourge has decimated millions of trees in North America ever since it was first noticed in the year 2002 on trees in Michigan. Because all 13 native species of ash trees are vulnerable to the emerald ash borer, the insect has the potential to cause significant damage to the nation's trees. Here's what you need to do if you have ash trees on your property.

Be Alert for Signs of Emerald Ash Borer Presence

Emerald ash borers do their damage to the trees when they are still in the larval stage. They bore into the trees, disrupting the distribution of nutrients and water throughout the tree. One of the first signs of the presence of emerald ash borer larvae is increased woodpecker activity on your ash trees. Woodpeckers feed on the larvae, so it's best to err on the side of caution and contact a tree expert if woodpeckers suddenly seem interested in your ash trees. 

Be Mindful of Best Practices Designed to Minimize the Spread of Emerald Ash Borer

One of the most common ways that emerald ash borer is spread is through firewood. The larvae can hide undetected in the bark of the firewood, and when they turn into adults, they fly to living ash trees to lay their eggs and begin the destructive cycle. For this reason, never buy firewood from an unknown source, especially if you are in one of the states where trees have been found to be infested with emerald ash borers. 

Be Aware That Treatment is Available for Emerald Ash Borer High-value ash trees that become infested with emerald ash borer can possibly be saved with the right kind of treatment. However, insecticides designed to control emerald ash borer need to be applied by a licensed pesticide applicator, and you may be required to report the infestation to your state regulatory agency. If the tree is too far gone to be saved or you decide it has little value in your landscape, it's essential to dispose of the tree in a way that won't result in the spread of the scourge. One of the best ways to do this is to burn it in your wood stove or fireplace, and if you don't have one, use it for outdoor bonfires. Just don't transport it to another location, and make sure you burn the wood before it's time for the larvae to hatch. 

To learn more about emerald ash borer treatment, reach out to a professional tree service near you.