Monday, May 16, 2011

Wood Boring Beetles

A common question I get is "what do you foresee being the insect problem this time of year?" Well, if we are in a drought, there is no doubt I will have calls about wood boring beetles. This is simply because our trees and shrubs are stressed from the drought. We have had VERY little rain for a year now, in the south central Texas area. And the one plant we usually forget about are our trees. We think to water our flowers, grass and gardens, but our trees get neglected.

Any tree that is stressed (drought, disease, mechanical damage, etc) will emit pheromones that wood boring beetles can pick up on. They find the source of stress and lay their eggs. The larvae hatches and bores into the plant. They grow and emerge, and you see the hole they leave behind.

If you find boring beetles in your trees, the first thing you need to realize is that your tree is stressed! Try to alleviate the stress, otherwise you will never be able to manage the borers. Often times, the damage you see has already been done and there isn't much you can do at that point. Unless you are a tree grower, I really don't see much need in managing wood boring beetles. Most of the time they are not re-infesting, which means they won't come back. The damage you see, is the damage done. You an't reverse it and it if you get that tree healthy, you probably won't see any further damage.

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