The Problem


There are virtually hundreds of different kinds of wood boring insects. Some are caterpillars of moths or butterflies, some are larvae of beetles, some are sawfly larvae, and still others are weevil grubs. Borer damage is not caused by the adult itself but by the larvae which bore into the phloem and cambium layers after emerging from their eggs on the bark. The borers’ tunneling weakens and kills trees by interrupting the flow of sap. The entire life cycle of the borer is one year from egg to beetle. Borers are attracted to trees that are under some type of stress. Newly planted trees should be properly watered and fertilised during the first few years of growth to prevent any borer attack. Healthy trees can ‘drown’ borers by engulfing them in sap.


Trees with frass or webbing around a hole in the trunk or limb indicates borer presence. These grubs attack the sapwood of the tree.

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