How to Get Rid of Tree Borers (Natural & Organic Methods) - Organic Daily Post

How to Get Rid of Tree Borers (Natural & Organic Methods)

By Sabrina Wilson / July 26, 2022

Although tree borers do not typically kill trees, the damage that they can do can significantly weaken the tree, making it more susceptible to other problems, such as disease, that can ultimately lead to its death. The most common type of tree borer in North America is the carpet beetle, which is attracted to trees that are already stressed or dying. The larvae of the carpet beetle feed on the inner bark of the tree, causing extensive damage that can girdle the tree and prevent the flow of water and nutrients. This damage can also provide entry points for other insects and diseases.

There are many reasons why natural or organic methods are preferable for getting rid of tree borers. First of all, these methods are much more gentle and safe for the environment. They also tend to be more effective in the long run, as they allow the tree to develop its own defenses against pests. Additionally, organic methods are generally much cheaper than chemical treatments. Finally, tree borers are often attracted to weak or damaged trees, so by using natural methods to promote the health of the tree, you can make it less likely to be attacked in the first place.

Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are a safe and effective way to get rid of tree borers. Here is how to use them:

1. Wait until tree borers have emerged from the soil and started attacking your trees. This is typically in late spring or early summer.

2. Purchase beneficial nematodes from a garden center or online retailer.

3. Mix the nematodes with water according to the package directions.

4. Use a garden hose to evenly distribute the mixture over the area where tree borers are active.

5. Repeat this process every 2-3 weeks until tree borers are no longer a problem.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural, plant-based product that can be used to control tree borers. Neem oil works by preventing the borers from feeding on the tree, which eventually kills them. Neem oil is environmentally friendly and does not harm beneficial insects such as bees or ladybugs. To use neem oil to control tree borers, mix a teaspoon of neem oil with a cup of water and spray the mixture onto the tree trunk and branches. Be sure to coat the entire tree, including the undersides of the leaves. Reapply the neem oil mixture every two weeks or as needed.

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a type of soap that is made from fatty acids. Fatty acids are a type of molecule that can kill insects. Insecticidal soap works by dissolving the cell membranes of insects. This soap is safe to use around children and pets.

If you're noticing small tunnels or galleries in the wood of your trees, it's likely that tree borers have moved in. Tree borers are destructive pests that can do a lot of damage to trees, so it's important to get rid of them as soon as possible. One of the best ways to do this is with insecticidal soap. Here's how to use it:

Fill a spray bottle with insecticidal soap and water, and shake it well to mix.

Take aim at the borers and bore holes, and spray liberally.

Be sure to get the undersides of the leaves and branches too.

Do this every few days for a week or two, until you're sure the borers are gone.

Horticultural Oil

Insecticidal soap is made from potassium salts of fatty acids. The most common fatty acids used are linoleic, oleic, and petroselinic acids. Potassium hydroxide is used as the soap-making base. Insecticidal soap works by disrupting the cell membranes of soft-bodied insects such as aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs. The soap works by breaking down the lipid layer of the cell membrane, which leads to the dehydration and eventual death of the insect. Insecticidal soap is most effective when used on young, actively growing insects. The soap must come in contact with the insect to be effective, so it is important to spray the undersides of leaves where insects are often found.

Horticultural oil is a non-toxic, safe solution for getting rid of tree borers. To use, first mix together a batch of horticultural oil and water following the manufacturer's instructions. Next, using a garden sprayer, thoroughly coat the trunk and branches of the tree, paying special attention to any areas where borers have been active. Be sure to also spray the underside of branches where borers may be hiding. Finally, allow the tree to dry completely before applying any additional treatments.

FAQ

What is a tree borer?
A tree borer is an insect that bores into the trunk or branches of a tree, typically to lay its eggs. The tree borer's larvae then feed on the tree's wood, causing extensive damage.

What are the most common tree borers in North America?
Some of the most common tree borers in North America include the ash borer, the lilac borer, the elm borer, and the birch borer.

What kind of damage do tree borers cause?
Tree borers can cause extensive damage to trees, as the larvae feed on the wood. This can weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to wind damage and other problems. In severe cases, the tree may die.

How do you control tree borers?
Tree borers can be controlled with a variety of methods, including traps, insecticides, and physical removal of the insects.

What are some signs that a tree is infested with borers?
Some signs that a tree is infested with borers include sawdust-like material at the base of the tree, holes in the bark, and wilting or dying branches.

Can tree borers be prevented?
Tree borers can be prevented by carefully selecting trees for planting, and by properly maintaining trees.

What is the best time to treat for tree borers?
The best time to treat for tree borers is before they become a problem. This may mean treating trees in the spring, before the insects are active, or in the fall, after they have finished laying their eggs.

What are some common insecticides used to control tree borers?
Some common insecticides used to control tree borers include carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, and malathion.

Can tree borers be removed manually?
Yes, tree borers can be removed manually. This can be done by carefully drilling into the tree and removing the larvae.


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About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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