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Pest Prediction Update

Posted on: August 3rd, 2015

Earlier this year, Swingle released its 2015 Colorado Landscape Predictions

Pest Prediction Update:

With half the year now complete, we’d like to give you a Colorado pest prediction update on where we are and where we’re headed as we continue to battle damaging pests and unprecedented meteorological events throughout the region.

November Freeze

The impact from the November Freeze of 2014 covers a wide spectrum. Some plant material did not survive while others are now struggling or weren’t affected at all by the damaging cold.

Some plant materials took much longer than usual to leaf out – causing many to assume their demise. But an incredibly wet spring aided in the recovery process.

Swingle Landscape Care Consultant, Tony Hahn, spoke with 7NEWS to provide an update on the damage we are still seeing.

As a courtesy to its customers, Swingle will continue to inspect plant material as they service a property for possible freeze damage.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer has been found in 14, one square mile quadrants in Boulder – and at this time could very well have spread beyond the city limits.  Perhaps most frustrating, by the time detection is made, the insect could already have been ravaging in that area for several years. Hundreds of trees are dead and dying from EAB in Boulder and treatment is still recommended to help protect ash trees from this destructive pest in the surrounding areas.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture is leading an initiative (along with APHIS – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the City of Boulder) to utilize a parasitic wasp, stinger-less and posing no harm to humans, in an effort to control the spread of EAB.

The wasp (which is the size of a pepper flake) finds and destroys EAB eggs before they hatch. The EAB larva is known for causing the greatest damage to ash trees – creating curved pathways up and down the inner bark and eventually cutting off the nutrient supply to the tree.

The Colorado State Forest Service is also partnering with Boulder County and the City of Boulder to place more than 65 traps targeting the tree-killing emerald ash borer. The traps are not intended to contain the pest population, but to research the most effective trapping methods.

Japanese Beetle

Japanese beetle emerged late this year – likely due to the cooler soil temperatures earlier in the spring. The beetles are treated with acelepryn – one of the least toxic insecticides to pollinating insects. Soil injections are also being tested this season – offering longer residuals and safer application for pollinators, as Japanese beetle targets many flowering plants.

Additional pests facing your Colorado landscape in 2015:

Ips Beetle

Ips continues to feed on pine and spruce trees, however, the damage will not become apparent until late summer or early fall.  Though Ips activity is primarily in older landscape Colorado blue spruce, that doesn’t mean all pines and spruces are not susceptible. Ips can still fly and infect as late as November, so preventive spraying (especially of high valued trees) is still recommended.

Willow Scale in Aspen

This is an emerging, prolific and very damaging insect on aspen trees.  Willow scale often goes undetected – possessing the same coloring as the aspen bark (almost camouflaged). Populations of the scale build rapidly, sucking the life out of the aspen tree.  Now is the time to look closely at your aspen tree(s) and schedule proper treatment.

European elm scale

This soft scale insect, which will weaken the health of a tree, hatched in Colorado in mid-June (as expected). An insect growth regulator is being sprayed on elm trees for European elm scale – this prevents scale maturation and causes them to fail over the winter. Also being tested is a trunk injected, natural insecticide from the neem tree with promising results.

The effects of climate and environmental changes, in conjunction with new and existing diseases and insects, are often unpredictable. As a leader in the industry, Swingle will continue to keep you informed with the most up-to-date and accurate information as it becomes available.

If you suspect your landscape suffers from any of the above issues, contact us today for a FREE Landscape Evaluation.


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