Since the year 2002, many ash trees have been killed by the metallic green colored beetles known as the ash borer. So many trees have been destroyed in the North American state of Michigan that they are known there as the Michigan Emerald Ash Borer. These beetles are native to East Asia and it is thought they entered the United States in wooden shipping containers. The insects live under the bark of the ash tree and feed on its tissues. Various midwestern and eastern states have also reported infestations, and the beetles have even spread as far as Canada.
The insects have already destroyed tens of millions of ash trees over several states in the past decade. Because Michigan has such a large concentration of ash trees, the Michigan Emerald Ash Borer has the potential to do great damage in that state. The ash trees have no defense on their own to resist the ash borer and most will die from the attack. Once the beetles become adults, they exit the tree and leave a hole in the shape of the letter D about one-eighth inch thick. This is the sign that the trees are infected. The application of insecticides is not always effective since there is a variety of the insects. Since they are all slightly different, they respond differently to the treatments.
The beetles can fly only short distances and so they do not spread very far on their own. They are most often spread about by humans using furniture made from the wood of the ash tree that has already been infected. Signs of an infestation in an ash tree are bare spots, canopy dieback from the tree tops, and splits in the vertical bark. Sprouts will also grow from the trunks and roots as well.
To get rid of a Michigan Emerald Ash Borer infestation, contact a professional exterminator who specializes in tree care. It is better not to attempt to use various pesticides because it can be dangerous to humans, animals and the tree itself if used in the wrong way. Trained technicians know how to assess the situation and which insecticide is best. They also have access to stronger professional strength pesticides that are not available to the public. They will often offer guarantees and will return without charge if the first treatment is not completely successful. When an infestation is suspected, contact a professional exterminator immediately.