According to reports, there are more than 5,000 species of native insects attracted to California’s native oaks. While not all of them are destructive, quite a few are. In fact, the gold-spotted oak borer is said to have killed over 100,000 trees here in San Diego and 5 other Southern California counties.
Now comes word of a new pest – the polyphagous shot hole borer – in town that could kill even more trees, both native and non-native.
It’s actually a beetle no larger than a sesame seed. It burrows into the wood underneath the bark to lay eggs. It brings with it a type of fungus that will block the circulation of water and nutrients within the tree.
Tell-tale signs of the presence of polyphagous shot hole borer will differ across various tree species. However, the main things to look for are:
Unfortunately, the only known cure for stopping the polyphagous shot hole borer is to remove an infected tree to prevent further infestation. The quicker you do this, the better. It normally takes about three (3) years for an infested tree to die. Over the course of that time, thousands of new beetles can emerge.
It’s key to be wary of any pest control companies claiming to be able to stop polyphagous shot hole borer infestations with insecticides. That’s because there’s currently no approved treatments that will kill it.
The best thing to do is to keep your trees healthy, as healthy trees are known to recover more quickly from an attack.
You should also select trees that are appropriate for your yard and do not require additional watering.
Excessive pruning and over – or under-watering should also be avoided
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