Early treatment for emerald ash borer advised
Warmer than normal temperatures have raised concerns about the early emergence and flight of the emerald ash borer, says Cliff Sadof, an entomology professor at Purdue University.
This green, metallic bugger is deadly to all ash (Fraxinus) trees, which make up roughly 6 percent of Indiana’s landscapes and forests.
The most difficult aspect, of course, is the certain death of ash trees, usually within five years once infested by the borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire). The only way a tree can survive is with treatment, which can be expensive because it has to be done every year or every other year. The bigger the ash tree, the more expensive it can be to treat, which is why homeowners, neighborhoods and others need to decide if the tree is valuable enough to treat. Treating is usually less expensive than removing a mature ash tree.
Clarification — These recommendations are for homeowners, who have access only to the insecticide (Imidacloprid) soil drench that kills the emerald ash borer. Certified arborists have other methods of applying insecticide for the emerald ash borer — trunk spray and trunk injection. Their pesticides (Dinotefuran or Emamectin Benzoate) have a greater window for application than a soil drench. Please visit the Purdue Website Emerald Ash Borer Information for Homeowners for details about insecticides, brands and other considerations.
Ash trees should be treated by April 15, which is about a month earlier than usually recommended because of the warm weather, Sadof said. Homeowners can treat trees up to 60-inch circumference at breast height. For larger specimens, Sadof recommends hiring a certified arborist, who has other methods of treating trees.
To help homeowners, public officials and community leaders, Sadof and his Purdue colleagues have updated information on dealing with the pest. Neighbors Against Bad Bugs, explains options for homeowners and neighborhood groups, including instructions on insecticide applications and timing.
There’s also a link to You Tube with how-to videos, and you can find announcements, links and other information at Neighbors Against Bad Bugs’ Facebook page.
For more information about the emerald ash borer: