You might have heard news stories about this Emerald Ash Borer Damage but you don’t really know anything else about it, what the impact is or even what to look for. Here’s what you need to know about this bug, and what to look for to detect its damage.

What, exactly, is an Emerald Ash Borer?

This bug is an shiny green beetle that kills living ash trees. Ash trees are very common in North America, and are often used for street trees or landscaping. It originated in Asia, but migrated to North America around 2002.

How to prevent damage?

The best way to prevent the total destruction caused by the Emerald Ash Borer is early detection. The ideal state is to identify the beetle in any area before it has to chance to eat ash trees, but that isn’t always possible. If you know the signs of damage and can look for them, this is very helpful in helping to minimize any damage they might cause.

Signs of Infestation

When it comes to the Emerald Ash Borer it can be difficult to determine if a tree is infested until it’s too late. The signs of an infestation can include premature yellowing of foliage, dead branches, thinning crowns or bark cracks. In this case, usually by the time you notice these symptoms on a tree that tree is heavily infested by the borer. Additionally, these symptoms can be signs of other types of pests or disease in the tree.

The benefit of seeing a tree with these symptoms, if it is infested with the Emerald Ash Borer, then you can potentially still protect the surrounding trees. The beetle doesn’t take over all trees in an area at once, as they go tree by tree. Therefore you can save a few trees once you notice the bug is in the area.

Signs to Look For

When the larvae of this bug feeds on the tree, it feeds between the bark and the sapwood leaving a zigzag pattern behind. As the larvae gets bigger, width of the path does as well so you can kind of gauge how developed the bug might be in the particular area. In heavily infested trees, these trails will be all over the sapwood of the tree in that there will be multiple zigzags to follow. You may be able to tell how bad the infestation is by how many trails you see.

When the bugs are ready to exit the tree, they will chew through the tree leaving a D-shaped hole behind. If you see these holes in the trunk of the tree you know that the bugs have matured and are active in the area.

Adult Emerald Ash Borers will eat notches on the leaves of a tree once they have fully matured and exited the tree. If you notice that some or all of the foliage on trees in your area have big pieces missing then you might be dealing with this beetle.