Spring weather is a pleasant welcome from the harsh cold of winter and gives people the opportunity to go outside. However, the increase in temperature allows the overwintering insects to emerge after many months of sleep, which can lead to devastating effects on the vegetation in your backyard. Ambrosia beetles are some of the critters to look out for as the weather starts warming up. An effective way to prevent damage from these destructive critters is hiring a professional tree service for maintenance checks, and that's where we come in as your go-to tree company. At Southern Star Tree, we have an experienced team of tree care experts ready to help you maintain healthy and lush trees, free from insect and disease attacks.
Ambrosia beetles come from different species and live their lives inside trees, providing them with sustenance. While bark beetles only inhabit the outer layers of trees, ambrosia beetles burrow deep into the tree carrying a fungus called ambrosia fungi. The fungi are deposited or rubbed off as the insects burrow, providing a food source for the adult females and larvae. A tree can contain more than a hundred different beetles, making it difficult for a homeowner to determine if the tree is actually at risk. We can provide routine maintenance to assess the type of beetles in your trees and the severity of the situation before recommending a course of action.
If you miss the signs of an infestation, you risk significant damage or tree death. Bark beetles are known to create galleries inside the tree, preventing the flow of nutrients and water. However, ambrosia beetles take this a notch higher by depositing fungi which ultimately clogs the tree's vascular tissue, leading to deterioration.
Ambrosia beetles are quite tiny compared to other beetle species known to attack trees and often go undetected. One of the signs homeowners should look out for is small, toothpick-like sticks popping out from the trunk. As the ambrosia beetles burrow the tree, they push the sawing out the entry hole, forming "toothpick-like" sticks after it clings together. These strands of sawdust are usually fragile and break easily in the rain or wind, leaving behind pencil-size holes. If you detect a pile of sawdust at the base of a tree, you have ambrosia beetles in your trees.
Ambrosia beetles are known to attack dying or dead trees, but some exotic species prefer healthy trees. The ability of these insects to identify and attack trees under stress is a result of the ethanol produced, which is a cue for the beetles to look for a host. Significant weather events like flooding, storms, or drought often lead to widespread damage, attracting ambrosia beetle colonies.
Other factors that can leave your trees susceptible to attack include improper irrigation, constant foot traffic, compacted soil from construction, and transplant shock experienced by saplings. A tree care company has a skilled workforce to help you alleviate the stress from your trees, keeping them healthy and in good condition. Contact us at Southern Star Tree, and schedule a consultation with our representative.