As spring approaches, your tree insect control efforts amp up. According to Utah State University, the best approach is using numerous simultaneous techniques, including biological, chemical, cultural and mechanical options, for tree insect control. This method reduces negative environmental side effects and can be used as needed.
First, your integrated pest management professional will diagnose any problems, then determine management needs and pinpoint the best time frame to tackle challenges.
Every best practice is unique based on pest type, geographic region and severity of the problem. Diagnosis is key, because most tree problems aren’t caused by biotic issues like insects and diseases, but rather abiotic issues such as the environment, improper care and insufficient irrigation.
However, biotic and abiotic symptoms can look similar, especially to nonprofessionals.
What’s Bugging You?
Your insect control specialist will look for pests and damage to the tree/plant, then determine injury type. Not all insects are pests; some help the environment.
Prevention tactics depend on the tree species, how adapted they are to the site and the water/temperature situation. Insecticide treatments must align with pest activity (is it long-term or recent?). Issues in progress are treated, but bear in mind that insect control alone often isn’t enough for aggressive, long-term pests known tree killers.
Bark beetles are a big problem in Utah when it comes to tree insect control. They love spruces and pines especially. As adults, they form colonies and create tunnels in trees for dining and laying eggs. You can get up to five generations per year, which spells trouble for the tree trying to mount a defense against this pest. These beetles prefer smaller limbs at the tops of trees, making damage tough for homeowners to spot.
Your Plan of Attack
Bark beetles are secondary pests, and they prefer weakened trees. However, USU reports that summer droughts and heat have led to an increase in bark beetles. They can easily move from tree to tree, so prevention of bark beetle infestation is key, including reducing your trees’ stress and maintaining adequate water levels. Your tree insect control specialist will treat infected areas, remove infestations and haul away dangerous sections of the tree.
Pesticides such as Carbaryl and Permethrin are best for bark beetle management. Treatment in spring before beetles are able to fly is critical, and one dose can allow up to 18 months of insect control. Large limbs must be treated with a special, high-pressure sprayer that tree insect control professionals have available.
Prepping for Spring
Additional Utahn pests include round-headed beetles and moths. Both are tree borers that adore aspens, ashes, birches and poplars. It’s best to not plant these trees, but if you already have them, then maintaining their health is important.
Contact Reliable Tree Care for all your tree insect control needs before the warm weather gives flight to the biggest pests.