Trapping for Granulate Ambrosia Beetles Is Underway in Haywood County

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Granulate [Asian] ambrosia beetles are destructive insect pests, and a big concern for nursery growers throughout North Carolina. These tiny insects are attracted mainly to stressed or recently-transplanted trees, as well as trees with thin bark (i.e. maple species) that are roughly 1-2 inches in diameter. Last spring, a local nursery grower came to our office with visible signs of infestation in their maple tree crop. Unfortunately, once the beetles are inside the trees no insecticides are effective and the only control measure available is to destroy the infested crop, ultimately resulting in hundreds if not thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Early this spring, Haywood County Horticulture Agent Sam Marshall began a trapping program to detect early signs of ambrosia beetle emergence so as to provide critical timing of insecticide applications which ultimately saves time, money, and any negative effects to the environment. This is one example of Integrated Pest Management and how it can be used to make more informed decisions about when to use insecticides. Read more about IPM in our ‘Learn to Grow’ series.

Home gardeners can use this trapping method as well for trees in home landscapes as well. Find more on granulate ambrosia beetles and how to construct traps.

Beetle trap
Beetle trap

Granulate ambrosia beetles are destructive insect pests, both in landscapes and in nurseries. Trapping is an effective component of an IPM plan and helps growers (and homeowners) make better-informed decisions about if/when to spray insecticides.