Emerald Ash Borer | Preferred Pest

Emerald Ash Borer | Des Moines, Iowa

Emerald Ash Borer
Also known as the bronze birch borer, these Agrilus anxius species insects are native to North America. Emerald ash borer adults tend to be greenish-bronze in color, slender, and flat beetles that grow to approximately 7-12 mm long.

What sets the bronze birch borer apart from other wood boring insects is their tendency to attack native and newly introduced ash trees. The species typically chooses ash trees that have already begun to deteriorate, and will begin to burrow just under the bark of the tree throughout the winter and then chew their way out in early June. The ash borer is known to have a one or two-year life cycle depending on the host plant's condition and the time of year that the eggs are laid.

Damage Caused by Emerald Ash Borers 

The way that you know an ash tree has been infested with emerald ash borers is wilting and dying of the upper crown of the tree. Upon closer examination the ash tree may reveal bumps and ridges on the branches and limbs, as well as possible 'D' shaped holes in the bark where the emerald ash borer adults emerge. 

When the bark is removed from the copious amounts of ridges that appear, you'll see irregular and winding tunnels known as galleries. These tunnels are made from the larva excavating the plant material between the wood and bark. These wood boring insects tend to attack the crown of the tree first and continue to tunnel through the tree, ultimately killing it.

Emerald Ash Borers in Iowa

Along with other Midwestern states, Iowa has fallen victim to bronze birch borer infestations. Though these wood boring insects are not as common in urban or residential areas, it can happen. If you notice that an ash tree on your Iowa property has begun to decline or is showing early signs of deterioration, you may still be able to save it. However, if the crown of the birch tree is over 50 percent damaged, the likelihood of saving it is very unlikely.

Emerald Ash Borer Treatment in Iowa 

To keep your ash trees healthy and thriving, it can be helpful to have a licensed tree care company treat your ash trees to prevent wood boring insects such as emerald ash borers from wreaking havoc on the trees. It is important for emerald ash borer treatment to happen prior to hatching season to ensure the new larvae do not successfully chew their way through the wood of the ash tree.

Additionally, communities such as Johnston and Des Moines are extremely proactive in saving the 'high impact' ash trees that are in good health and structure around the Des Moines metro. Emerald ash borer treatment for the Des Moines metro includes treating approximately 5,800 of those 'high impact' ash trees to preserve the environmental benefits and as well as evaluate if they are able to be preserved or would need to be removed.

Learn more about the Des Moines metro's emerald ash borer management plan!

How to Keep your Iowa Ash Trees Healthy

Ash trees have a higher success rate when placed in a shaded, cool and moist environment. Avoid placing them in wide open, exposed areas where they would receive excessive amounts of sun. Continue to water and fertilize as needed to ensure they remain healthy. By doing so, you will have a higher chance of avoiding pesky wood boring insects like ash borers. 

Questions About Emerald Ash Borers? 

Preferred Pest can help! As the leading Des Moines pest control service, our technicians are very informed on ash borers and how they are affecting the Des Moines metro and Iowa. Reach out at (515) 276-7277 today!

For further assistance on any other pest control needs, schedule an appointment with us online!