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Pesticide Products for Homeowners for EAB

Emerald ash borers are here to stay in Indiana. If you decide to chemically protect your ash tree, it will require yearly treatment with an insecticide for an indefinite period.
The insecticide products listed below for homeowners work best as preventive treatments for healthy ash trees in street or yard settings. It is rarely practical to treat woodlot trees with insecticides.

Although there is some evidence that use of pesticides can salvage some ash trees in early stages of EAB infestation, prevention is a more reliable strategy.  Ash trees that are in poor condition, regardless of the cause, are not good candidates for EAB control and should probably be removed or replaced after EAB attacks. It is always a good idea to consult a tree care professional before making any decisions about protecting your ash trees.

Imidacloprid - Soil Drench (Bayer Advanced™ Garden Tree and Shrub Insect Control, Fertilome Tree and Shrub Drench, and other products)

This insecticide can be mixed with water and applied to soil as a drench by homeowners or applied by professionals using a high-pressure soil injection system. When applied as a soil drench, it takes about 4 to 8 weeks for the tree’s roots to absorb the insecticide and distribute it throughout the leaves. Adult beetles that feed on the insecticide-laced leaves will die soon after consuming them. The small worm-like larvae (the immature stages of the beetle) may also be killed when they feed on pesticide-laced tissues located beneath the tree’s bark

Click here to view soil drench video.

Mid-April to Mid-June is the best time for the homeowner to apply Bayer Advanced™ Garden Tree and Shrub Insect Control, which can be found at almost any lawn and garden store.  The cost of treatment depends upon the width of the tree’s trunk at chest height.

Several other products for homeowners with this active ingredient may soon be in stores. Check the label to be sure the product can be used for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

Pros:

  • The chemical usually remains active for several months in the tree.
  • Application does not injure the tree.
  • This product is registered for general use application and can be purchased and applied by homeowners.
  • Imidacloprid is relatively safe to non-target organisms such as mammals, birds and some groups of insects (e.g., caterpillars). 

Cons:

  • This product should be applied in April because it takes 4 to 8 weeks for the tree to transport it through the soil and distribute it in tissue.
  • Better control of EAB with imidacloprid may be obtained when it is applied by tree care professionals with specialized equipment and formulations of the product through high pressure soil injections or injections directly into the trunk.

Permethrin Trunk and Foliage Spray (Hi-Yield 38 Plus)

The target of this spray product is the adult insect, so it should be applied as a spray to tree trunks and foliage when EAB starts flying in May. The spray should be repeated 4 weeks later. The best timing for the first of the two sprays when black locust trees are in bloom, which occurs during early May in Southern Indiana and in late May in Northern Indiana.

View Label

Pros:

  • When properly and consistently applied, permethrin trunk and foliage sprays were somewhat effective in preventing galleries in ash trees.

Cons:

  • Homeowners will need a hose attachment to spray ash trees up to 25 feet tall; trees larger than this should be sprayed by professionals.
  • Exposure, drift and related issues can be a concern, especially when applied near drainage ditches, streams or other bodies of water.
  • Permethrin is toxic to beneficial insects that feed or contact treated leaves or bark.

Cyfluthrin Trunk and Foliage Spray (Bayer Advanced™ Garden Multi-Insect Killer and others.)

The target of this spray product is the adult insect, so it should be applied as a spray to tree trunks and foliage when EAB starts flying in May. The spray should be repeated 4 weeks later. The best timing for the first of the two sprays when black locust trees are in bloom, which occurs during early May in Southern Indiana and in late May in Northern Indiana.

Pros:

  • When properly and consistently applied, cyfluthrin trunk and foliage sprays were somewhat effective in preventing galleries in ash trees.

Cons:

  • Homeowners will need a hose attachment to spray ash trees up to 25 feet tall; trees larger than this should be sprayed by professionals.
  • Exposure, drift and related issues can be a concern, especially when applied near drainage ditches, streams or other bodies of water.
  • Cyfluthrin is toxic to beneficial insects that feed or contact treated leaves or bark.


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