back to blog

What Are Emerald Ash Borers & How Should I Deal With Them?

Emerald ash borers are a rare and highly destructive pest that has the potential to destroy ash trees on your property. A quarantined invasive species, it’s critical for homeowners to be able to identify signs of a possible infestation and address these pests quickly to prevent damage to their landscaping.

Identifying the Emerald Ash Borer

It’s important to be able to recognize when these pests have infiltrated your trees so you can take the appropriate action. EABs aren’t always easy to spot, with small, green bodies that can easily blend into the environment.

As adults, they can grow to become one-third of an inch to half an inch in length with a body shape that’s widest behind the head, gradually tapering back to the abdomen. Larva, on the other hand are 1 inch to 1.25 inches when fully grown, with white, flat bodies that have a small, brown head and pincer-like appendages on the tip of the abdomen.

Life Cycle of Emerald Ash Borers

Emerald ash borers typically live for one year; however, their life cycle may extend to two years if your tree is particularly lush and growing quickly. Here’s what the EAB life cycle looks like at a glance:

  • From May to August, adults emerge from the trees, feeding on leaves and mating to lay eggs on bark or in small cracks in the tree
  • After seven to 10 days, the eggs hatch and larvae tunnel beneath the bark where they feed until the fall
  • Once fully grown, the larvae live through the winter in chambers created under the bark, transforming into pupae in the early spring

Symptoms of EAB Infestation

If you’re unable to locate the insects themselves, there are other signs you can look for in your trees that may point to an EAB infestation. These include:

  • Thinning Tree Canopy: If you notice a decline in the canopy’s density with sparse or dying branches, you could have emerald ash borers in your trees.
  • D-Shaped Exit Holes: When adult beetles emerge, they leave behind d-shaped exit holes in the bark that are roughly an eighth of an inch in diameter.
  • S-Shaped Serpentine Galleries: Winding, s-shaped galleries are a sign of larval feeding that may point to an EAB infestation.
  • Epicormic Shoot Growth: If you notice numerous small shoots growing along the trunk or main branches, it could be a sign of emerald ash borers.
  • Increased Woodpecker Activity: Look for signs of peeling bark and holes in your tree’s surface that indicates increased woodpecker activity as they feed on larvae.

Impact of Emerald Ash Borers on Trees

When EABs infiltrate your trees, the effects can be devastating with most trees dying in four years or less depending on the severity of the infestation. The s-shaped galleries created by larvae can disrupt the flow of nutrients to the rest of your tree, causing lasting damage that can kill off your trees quickly.

Dead and dying trees aren’t just an eye-sore to look at — they can pose significant threats to your safety as they have the potential to break more easily during severe wind and storms. This is why it’s critical to act at the first sign of EAB infestation so you can prevent the trees on your property from becoming dangerous projectiles.

Emerald Ash Borer Management Strategies

By implementing a combination of preventative measures and responsible elimination strategies, you can ensure your trees remain free and clear of EAB damage. Here’s what you can do to mitigate your risk:

  • Restrict Movement: Monitor your trees carefully to detect infestations early and restrict any movement of potentially infested wood to prevent the spread of infestation.
  • Use Pesticides: Neonicotinoids are a popular pesticide option for the treatment of EAB infestations, applied either as soil injections or trunk injections.
  • Natural Solutions: Natural alternatives like introducing parasitoid wasps or using biocontrol agents like Beauveria bassiana fungus can help reduce EAB populations as well while promoting a balanced ecological approach.

Trust Bratt Tree Company To Eliminate Emerald Ash Borers in Your Trees

Think you have an EAB infestation on your hands? Get the situation under control with help from the expert arborists at Bratt Tree Company. With more than 30 years of experience, our ISA Certified Arborists are uniquely capable of identifying and treating emerald ash borer threats, leaving your trees healthy and safe from severe, irreversible damage.

Request emerald ash borer treatment for your trees by calling our team at 612-721-4153 today!

Tree Pruning Service $50 Off
expires 02/29/24
Fertilization 10% Off
expires 02/29/24
What To Expect

Discover the Difference

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Our job is never complete until you are 100% satisfied with our services.

Upfront
Pricing

We offer 100% transparent pricing to all our valued customers, so you know what to expect.

Trained
Technicians

Our ISA-certified arborists are trained in the most advanced industry tools and techniques.

Commitment
to Community

We’ve proudly delivered trusted tree services to the Twin Cities for more than 30 years.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Our job is never complete until you are 100% satisfied with our services.

Upfront Pricing

We offer 100% transparent pricing to all our valued customers, so you know what to expect.

Trained Technicians

Our ISA-certified arborists are trained in the most advanced industry tools and techniques.

Commitment to Community

We’ve proudly delivered trusted tree services to the Twin Cities for more than 30 years.

Don’t take our word for it

See What Your Neighbors Are Saying

Great, very professional service from Bratt Tree Company. Our tree was in a challenging spot, surrounded by buildings. They used a crane and cherry picker and didn't leave a scratch on fences, buildin...

Kristi

Bratt Tree Company is the best in the business — professional, appropriately priced, and great customer service.

Tom

Bratt Tree Company was amazing! We had three large and rather tricky stumps that they grinded out perfectly! They were professional, friendly and very responsive. I asked to keep the mulch and they ...

Kumar
Read our reviews