People who love elms have had to cope with various threats to these majestic trees over the years. The elm leaf beetle is one threat that can cause serious harm to elm trees. If you think your trees may have been infested by these insects, take proactive steps to manage the infestation.
About the Elm Leaf Beetle
The beetles are olive green with black stripes running lengthwise down the top. They aren't very large, usually only growing to about 1/4 inch long. They lay eggs on the underside of leaves; the larvae that hatch look like small black caterpillars.
Like caterpillars, the larvae enclose themselves in protective enclosures for their transformation into adults. This pupal stage is orange or yellow.
Both the larvae and the adults eat leaves of all elm species. Another bothersome behavior of elm leaf beetles is their tendency to move inside buildings during cold weather, just as ladybugs do.
Damage to Elms
The leaves that the larvae and adults chew on turn brown and wither, and sometimes fall off. Entire branches may die. The trees can become weak, making them susceptible to other pest invasions as well as to wind damage.
How Pest Control Technicians Battle the Beetles
Pest control technicians may spray or inject the tree with insecticide, or apply insecticide to soil for root absorption. Another strategy involves banding the trunk with insecticide to kill larvae that move downward from the leaves.
Professional pest control workers prefer to avoid spraying if possible because the insecticide kills helpful insects as well as harmful ones. Nevertheless, sometimes spraying may be advisable, depending on the growth stage of the bugs and how bad the infestation is.
Your Pest Control Tasks
Contact a pest control service promptly to start applying methods that should substantially reduce or even eliminate the elm leaf beetle population on your property. You can bolster the efforts of the pest control workers with several actions.
- If the technicians apply pesticide around the tree, you'll need to water the soil regularly to help send the solution down to the roots. In addition, water your elm trees regularly during drought conditions to keep them strong and healthy. This makes them more resistant to insect infestations.
- Remove dying or dead branches, as those attract and are vulnerable to harmful insects.
- You may sometimes find groups of larvae and pupae at the bottom of the tree. Use vacuum equipment to remove them.
- If beetles invade the house, vacuum them up. They don't cause damage and they don't need to eat during the winter, but you still probably don't want them inside.
If you're looking for a pest control company in your area, visit Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management Services.