BEST TREE BORER TREATMENTS | BUGSPRAY
Got tree Borers or want to make sure you don’t? Our article below details all you need to know for controlling this damaging and destructive tree killer!
This short video (less than 60 seconds long) gives you a brief summary of all the detailed information below. As you scroll down, you’ll see everything you need along with “add to cart” buttons for ordering directly from this page:
TREE ROOT BORER PROBLEM?
Tree borer beetles include a wide range of insects which feed on trees. Some target specific trees but here in the United States, we have hundreds of species and many can thrive on a range of tree species. So if you discover a tree with some kind of boring pest, it could very well have different insects active.
In general, all tree boring pests are members of the beetle family though their shape, size and color can vary. Some are quite small, like the turpentine beetle and others can be several inches long like the hissing borer. Root borers can be massive reaching lengths of 3 inches or more!
Boring beetles will fall into three types: those which thrive just under the bark, those which bore through the trunk and those which live in the root system of the tree. And though some species can infest a tree without being noticed, others will produce piles of sawdust as they chew.
The bottom line is that once a tree gets a beetle problem, it will likely get worse and spread to other trees in the yard.
CAN YOU SAVE A ROOT BORER INFESTED TREE?
We get asked this question all the time. In general, its not possible to know for sure but here is a simple guideline on what to expect assuming you follow the treatment outlined below.
For trees with noticeable insect activity but no sign of poor health, treatments will knock out the active pests and ensure it stays healthy. For trees that have just turned brown, lost foliage and show insect activity, there is a very good chance you can save them. This is especially true if the tree has only started to look this sick recently, like in the last 6 months and if you take action now, before its too late. For trees that have not shown any new growth for over a year, its 50-50. Trees can go dormant for a year or two before completely dying and we’ve had many reports of customers treating a “dead” tree only to see it come back the next season.
VIDEO TRAINING FOR TREE BORERS
HOW DID MY TREE GET INFESTED?
Tree borer beetles are naturally attracted to pine trees by smelling the trees sap or the pheromones released by other beetles currently feeding on the tree. Though most trees will emit small amounts of sap naturally, trees which sustain injury due to man or nature are more likely to get beetle activity quicker.
Pruning at inappropriate times (like the spring or summer), mechanical damage to the bark, lightning, drought, disease or other insect damage like that which can occur from termites are all things that can make a tree more susceptible to tree borer beetles. Once a flow of sap is more than normal, the odds increase in the beetles favor. But even a perfectly normal healthy tree will emit or release some sap that can attract beetles.
Now when a tree is injured and sap runs freely, the odds that beetles find the tree are greatly increased. Once found, beetles will penetrate the bark and then begin excavating tunnels either under the bark or into the heart of the trunk. Often times their tunnels will serve as egg cavities but some species will lay eggs outside the tree bark or down in the roots.
BORER BEETLE TREATMENT OPTIONS
The control of tree borer beetles is really not a control as much as it is a preventive treatment. Trees which have activity are difficult to save. This is true for two reasons. First, once a tree is infested, the adults and larva are active behind the bark which serves as protection from conventional sprays. Secondly, rarely does anyone spot a tree with only a beetle or two. However, it can be done. If you happen upon a tree which has only minor and beginning beetle activity, it can be saved. For this reason you must consider all options and then make a decision based on what makes you comfortable and what gives you piece of mind. Here are some general guidelines for both the prevention and control of tree borer beetles before and after activity has been found.
SPRAY TREE TRUNKS FOR LONG LASTING BORER PROTECTION
If you are in a region where tree borers are active and want to protect them from attack, spray the bark at least once a year with MAXXTHOR EC. For trees with activity, spray them at least once every 6 months for the first year.
Maxxthor is highly repellent to beetles and the treatment will be absorbed by the bark keeping boring pests away for many months. Even trace amounts will cause them to forage elsewhere so for long term, easy to apply protection for trees with little or no activity, spray the main trunks from the ground up 10-12 feet.
Maxxthor should be applied at a rate of 1 oz per gallon of water when spraying with a pump sprayer; 2.5 oz per 5 gallons when using our HOSE END SPRAYER. For trees with activity, plan on treating twice the first year and once a year after that to keep borers away.
The following video shows how to mix it up in the Green Topped Hose End sprayer which can reach as high as you garden hose can spray.
Remember to treat any and all trees you want to protect and not just the trees with sign of activity. These applications will help keep away carpenter ants, termites, carpenter bees and other wood destroying insects which can all weaken and contribute to any trees demise.
To get the most of your treatment, add SPREAD-X BOOST to your tank mix along with the Maxxthor. Boost is an adjuvant, also known as a wetter spreader or spreader sticker. It basically makes water and the mixture more “slippery” so you get better coverage. Treatments will spread 2-3 times wider and penetrate deeper. This is super important when spraying trees. Boost will help the Maxxthor get “into” the bark that much deeper and as a result, residuals will be longer and the immediate impact your treatment will be magnified.
The following short video summarizes why Boost can help deliver your treatment better.
Add no more than the rate you’re applying the Maxxthor so in this case, if you’re adding 2.5 oz of Maxxthor to the hose end sprayer, add 2.5 oz of Boost too before adding water. If you’re adding Maxxthor to a pump sprayer at the rate of 1 oz per gallon, use 1 oz of Boost.
And don’t forget to add Boost to your soil drenches with the Prothor. Boost and Prothor, as well as Joy Juice, are all compatible and the Boost will get the treatment at least twice as deep. This insures the actives will be “in” the tree that much faster with Boost speeding up the time it takes to get the actives to the roots for absorption.
Most any small job (5 or less trees) can be handled using a standard PUMP SPRAYER.
When treating 5 or more trees, our GREEN TOPPED HOSE END SPRAYER prove to be a great way to treat. Using this sprayer, you’ll want to add 2.5 oz of Maxxthor as shown in the video above. The entire tank can then be sprayed over 5-10 trees with an average trunk width of 12 inches.
If you need to reach up 35-40 feet or more, our NO PUMP SPRAYER will help big time. It relies on air pressure and can be pumped up to 80-90 psi safely. The small one can hold 1.5 gallons of mixture and when pressurized, will pump out the entire contents with only one time filling it with air. It’s especially helpful when you need to treat trees that are not reachable with a garden hose.
This video shows in great detail how this sprayer works:
INJECT VISIBLE BORER HOLES WITH FS-MP AEROSOL
For trees with visible holes, inject them directly with FS MP AEROSOL. This product comes with a straw (similar to WD-40) ideally suited for injecting any hole you can find. Pitch marks (places where sap is running out) should be cleaned out first to help allow the aerosol to penetrate as much as possible.
The following short video shows how to use FS MP for bark injection.
Now if you poke and prod the bark gently, many times you are able to find loose sections of bark. Such areas could have activity or might be targeted as a good place to lay eggs. In some cases drilling small holes into the bark just deep enough to enable spray to trickle down behind the bark can help too. This type of treatment can be tedious but it can help by killing off feeding larva.
When treating, try to inject each hole for 10-15 seconds if its receptive. The pressure of the can along with the aerosol sized particles which are released insures a thorough treatment will disperse behind the bark and hopefully reach feeding larvae as well as active adults.
Focus your treatments around the trunk spacing holes 1-2 feet apart depending on how well each treatment hole takes product. The more each hole will take the less holes needed.
Holes don’t need to be bigger than 1/8 of an inch so the exit holes from beetles which have already left can be utilized and many times will be all you need to treat.
SOIL DRENCH FOR COMPLETE TREE ROOT AND TRUNK PROTECTION
For trees showing significant activity and signs they may not make it, supplement your program with PROTHOR. This treatment is done by pouring mixed solution down into holes you make around the tree. Once applied, the treatment will be absorbed by the trees root system and as it gets dispersed up and into the tree, it will kill any insect feeding on the protected foliage. Though this won’t control borers living behind the bark, it will kill drilling borers and other pests like moths, aphids, thrips, cicadas, whiteflies and more. Remember, any insect feeding on the affected tree will be weakening it so the extra protection using a systemic will provide can often times help indirectly.
To prepare the ground for the treatment, you’ll need to create small holes inside the trees drip line (this is the area underneath the canopy of the branches), about 2-4 feet around the base of the trunk. Make 5-8 holes for every 3-4 gallons of mixed solution you apply.
To make the holes, use a pick axe or piece of rebar. Remember, these holes only need to absorb the mixture you’ll be applying so it soaks down to the roots. In other words, the holes don’t have to be deep.
The amount of Prothor needed will depend on the width of the tree. Use .1 oz per inch of width. This means for a tree 10″ wide, you’ll need 1 oz of Prothor mixed in 3-4 gallons of water. A 5 gallon pail is well suited for the task; add 3-4 gallons of water to the pail and then 1 oz of Prothor and you’re ready to treat a tree 10 inches wide at the base.
Treat annually (once a year) any tree with activity and any other tree you want to be protected as well. Prothor can be used on shrubs, trees and other plants too.
To help make holes for soil injection, get our EARTH AUGER. It can be used with any cordless or corded hand drill and makes the treatment go a lot easier as the holes keep the treatment where it needs to be AND they help deliver the mixture where it needs to be.
This short video (less than 1 minute long) shows how to use an Earth Auger.
ADD LIQUID FERTILIZER TO KEEP TREES HEALTHY
When soil drenching infected trees with Prothor, its a good idea to add some JOY JUICE liquid fertilizer to the pail. Use 1 oz per gallon of mixed Prothor. The two can be added to the same bucket and applied simultaneously so it won’t take any more work to add some food to you tree.
We often get asked if suffering trees can be saved and the general rule is this. If the tree has been “brown” for 2 or more years, its probably dead for good. But trees that turned 1.5 years or less can be usually be saved if given the right treatment and some food. Joy Juice is easy to apply, quick to absorb and you’ll know within 30 days if your effort is working.
One last thing to consider is our TREE FUNGICIDE. Like the Prothor and Joy Juice, it works systemically so you can add it to your bucket when doing soil drenching just in case there is a fungus that might be affecting the tree.
HONOR GUARD is the preferred option. Add 1 oz for every 10″ of tree width. It can be mixed with the Prothor and Joy Juice at the same time so it requires no more work to get applied.
Honor Guard will control a range of systemic fungi and should be used if you suspect anything like canker.
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
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