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Emerald Ash Borer larva

While they aren’t actively feeding and causing damage, many insects that attack trees and shrubs don’t completely disappear in the winter. Insects have a variety of means for surviving cold temperatures and returning in warmer weather to wreak havoc in the landscape.

In the late fall, many insects enter a type of dormant stage on their host plant and re-emerge in the spring to continue feeding on the host. Some Scale species will overwinter as adults, but are not active in the winter. There are also insect species that enter the next stage in their lifecycle before winter or overwinter as eggs. The eggs hatch in the spring as voracious eaters.  For example, several Mite species remain on their host plant in the winter as eggs and begin feeding when they hatch in the spring. Because of their miniscule size, damage may not become evident until later in the season. The Emerald Ash Borer, which has devastated the local Ash tree population, will overwinter as larvae in their host and emerge as adults in the late spring, chewing their way out of the tree and causing damage to critical tree layers on their way out. Insects have varied lifecycles and times when they enter a stage. This makes it very important to know what kind of pest is causing damage to the plant before beginning treatment.

Treatment methods are based on the type of insect and when it is most vulnerable to management. Click here for information on some of the pests that affect the Chicago area. For the most precise diagnosis, it’s recommended that a Certified Arborist evaluate the landscape and determine the cause of damage. Whether it’s Emerald Ash Borer, Spider Mites or a different plant pest that is damaging the landscape, Kramer Tree Specialists offers treatment options timed to attack when the pest is most susceptible. Call the Plant Health Care Department for more information and to have a Certified Arborist visit your property for an accurate evaluation.

Insect issues in the landscape? Leave a comment!

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