This winter was a brutal one for sure, but the emerald ash borer still has plenty of life left in it.
Although the Midwest experienced abnormally cold temperatures this winter, it is unlikely that populations of the highly destructive beetle were significantly affected by it, said Adam Witte, exotic forest pest educator in the Purdue University Department of Entomology.
“Headlines have been circulating, suggesting that EAB may have met its match,” Witte said. “But the EAB, as well as most insects in colder climates, is effective at surviving cold temperatures.”
EAB larvae overwintering within ash trees die when temperatures reach minus-28 degrees Fahrenheit below the bark, Witte said. U.S. Forest Service scientists predicting areas in North America where temperatures were cold enough to kill EAB larvae conclude that only parts of Minnesota and North Dakota historically have reached temperatures that low.
Adam Witte, Exotic Forest Pest Educator
Department of Entomology
Matthew Ginzel, Associate Professor
Departments of Entomology & Forestry and Natural Resources